Keynote speech by the MEC of Sport and Cultural Affairs at SAJCC 2015

The South African Chess Championships started today at The University of Cape Town.

The Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Mrs. Anroux Marais welcomed the chess-players to the Western Cape.

MEC For Sport and Cultural Affairs, Mrs Anroux Marais
MEC For Sport and Cultural Affairs, Mrs Anroux Marais

This is her speech. “The President of Chess South Africa, Mr. Eldo Smart and his executive, Mr. Mark Lewis of Chess Western Cape and Dr. Deon Solomons , President of Chess Western Province and members of the chess fraternity, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, it gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you here to sunny Cape Town and the Western Cape.

The sport of chess is very important to us in the Western Cape and South Africa. It has been recognized as one of the 16 priority codes in South Africa and my Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport is proud of its association with chess. We have hosted in 2015 the SA Open which was the first local event South Africa’s first ever grandmaster Kenny Solomon from Mitchell’s Plain played in after obtaining his title. We hosted the SA Ladies Open and we also hosted the prestigious SA Closed won by Daniel Cawdery from Gauteng and Denise Frick from Cape Town. We have contributed our expertise and finances to all these events and we have assisted in ensuring that this event is of a high standard. As the Western Cape Provincial Government we look forward to seeing many good moves being played better together and as Lasker once said : when you see a good move, look for a better one.

We fund all the various chess unions in the Western Cape and I am pleased to see that there are 2100 registered players here today with 439 from across the Western Cape. I have also realised that chess is a game for all ages and I am pleased to see the young lady Ms Adriani Ferreira from Gauteng here. She was born on 22 April 2010 and is the youngest player here today at the age of five. Welcome Ms. Ferreira and all the players from the furthest corners of South Africa. I am told that many players will often be heard to remark that their opponent was lucky, but just remember that Capablanca said that a good player is always lucky.

In July this year I was delighted to be part of the launch of the first ever Isi- Xhosa chess book with Watu Kobese. I am happy that chess is promoted amongst all communities in the country as is evident here today. Spielman once said that you must play the opening like a book, the Middle-game like a magician and the endgame like a machine. To the boys and girls I wish you well in your matches today and wish to leave you with the following : Chess is not always about winning, sometimes it is simply about learning and so is life. Gerald Abrahams once wrote that good positions don’t win games, good moves do!”

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