2107 PSS Capablanca Chess Festival – an incredible experience for chess players

The hugely successful chess extravaganza in Centurion that was the 2017 PSS Capablanca Chess Festival is now over. The chess festival was held at  South Downs College in Centurion. The tournament which ran from 26 April to 1 May 2017, eventually attracted more than 240 players. All the events from the PSS Capablanca Chess Festival were updated on the chess results website. The main event in a Capablanca Chess Festival was the International Masters (IM)  norm event which featured some of the strongest chess players in South Africa and 3 grandmasters as well(Grandmasters Grover, Farrukh and Sriram Jha). I think the great Cuban genius Jose Raol Capablanca would be proud that so many chess players gathered in his honour to battle it for top honours.

Prize winners Capablanca Festival

A fixture on the chess calendar
The  Capablanca Chess Festival has become a fixture in the chess calendar in South Africa. Players come from all parts of the country to take part in this event and it also attracts many players outside South Africa to take part in this tournament. Over the course of 4 days players are involved in very high Level, intense chess games.

Comments from Woman International Master (IM) Anzel Laubscher
WIM Anzel Laubscher attended the event. Here’s what she had to say about the tournament.

Personal experience from Anzel
The tournament was organized very well.  (Anzel played in the ) I asked to play in a higher Round Robin B group than my rating and Graham Jurgensen (Tournament Director) made a plan to get me in a group which didn’t remind me of my 170 rating points donation in India in January. I was seeded second last in my group and managed to end joint 2nd and 3rd on tie break. I had 1 lost, 2 wins and the rest draws (I prefer not to say the number as it is rather embarrassing). With all the drawing this weekend I am considering to take up art classes in the near future. I might change my name to Pizello…

Anzel Laubscher in deep thought

The way the organisers treated me really made me feel like a top player. From the fact that we were all playing on the stage to the free coffee during the games all contributed to a feeling of being a “top player”. It might sound like a silly thing, but playing on the stage has a certain effect. Not sure if the other players experienced it like that as well, or perhaps it’s just my years of acting which let the drama queen on the loose again…

Grandmasters Farrukh and Sahaj are both very good friends of mine and it was great to see them again and to get acquainted with Sriram was an honor. He is a very pleasant person with a great and sharp sense of humor.

Main IM Norm Tournament
The main IM Norm tournament went down to the final round encounter between GM Sahaj Grover and GM Farrukh Amonatov where Farrukh demonstrated his class to finish on a fine 8/9 and claim the R10,000 first prize. Sahaj ended second on 7/9 ahead of IM Daniel Jere from Zambia who claimed 3rd place with a solid +2 score of 5.5/9.

Final cross-table of the IM Section

The winners of the IM Section at the Capablanca Chess Festival

Here are the results from other sections
Round Robin A – The section was won by FM Roberto De Abreu with rating of 2110 and 7 points out of possible 9 points. The top seed in the section was Musatwe Simutowe of Zambia with the rating of 2198.

PSS Capablanca Round Robin A

Round Robin B – The top seed in the section was Siyabonga Choco with rating of 1931 who won the section with 7.5 points.

PSS Capablanca Round Robin B

Round Robin C – Mfundo Masiya won the section with 7 points. The top rated player in this section was WIM Epah Tembo with a rating of 1819.

PSS Capablanca Round Robin C

Round Robin D – The winner was Vusimuzi Mhahleki with 9 points , a perfect 9 points!  The top seed in the section was Dan Ngakane with the rating of 1695.

PSS Capablanca Round Robin D

Round Robin E – The section was won by the FM Dante Beukes with the rating of 1596 of Namibia with 8.5 points while the top rated player and the section was Martin Nkuna and a Ealazar Nhamuave with the rating of 1621.

PSS Capablanca Round Robin E

Round Robin F – James Dinham won the section with 7 points. The top seed was Donald Twalo with a rating of 1510.

PSS Capablanca Round Robin F

Round Robin G – The section was won by Jacobus Marais with 7 points who was also the top seed for the section.

PSS Capablanca Round Robin G

Swiss A – Francois Oberholzer won the tournament with a perfect score of 7 points. He was also the top seed for the section.

Swiss A Section PSS Capablanca

Swiss B Section – Top Seed John Mkhalipi won the section with a perfect 7 points.

Swisss B Section PSS Capablanca

Great performances from lower sections
The lower sections saw at the festival saw some great performance. Congratulations are in order to the following section winners and stand-out performances. We have included the gains in ELO rating points where they have were significant.

Round Robin A – 1st FM Roberto de Abreau (+35 ELO), 2nd FM Jack van Zyl-Rudd (+50 ELO)

Crosstable for Round Round A

Round Robin B – 1st Siyabonga Choko (+37 ELO), 2nd Aaron Klevansky (+38 ELO), 3rd WIM Anzel Laubscher (+38 ELO)

One of the prizewinners Anzel Laubscher with a fellow prize winner

Round Robin C – Masiya Mafundo won this event with 7/9 to earn a tournament highlight of 223 ELO rating points!

Round Robin D – Vusimuzi Mlahleki recorded the only 9/9 amongst the round robin sections to earn 132 ELO! Hansen Marques ended 3rd in this section earning 121 ELO in the process!

Round Robin E – FM Dante Beukes from Namibia won this event with 8.5/9 to earn 129 ELO! CM Ewald Schoeman earned 120 ELO for 2nd place and Donald van der Westhuizen improved by 80 ELO for his 3rd place finish.

Round Robin F – Unrated James Dinham won this section with 7/9 to record a 1605 tournament performance and secure his first FIDE rating!

Round Robin G – Dawid Marais won this tightly contested section with 7/9

Swiss A was won outright by FM Francois Oberholzer with a perfect 7/7

Swiss B was won outright by John Mkhaliphi with 6.5/7

Swiss C was won on tiebreak by Liam Stuurman with 6/7

Swiss D was won on tiebreak by Helen Rautenbach with 4/5

The Swiss E was won by Lebone Malunga who scored a perfect 5/5

Final results and standings for all sections are available at http://chess-results.com/tnr268478.aspx?lan=1.

In their remarks on the event, KCF Africa thanked everyone who helped to make the event the success that it was. They acknowledged the role of Tshwane Chess, PSS and SouthDowns College who all played pivotal parts in making the event a reality. PSS Capablanca have shown a great deal of commitment by sponsoring the Festival and this will go a long way towards developing the game in South Africa and raising the quality of chess.

A little bit about the sponsor PSS

Phillip Silver Swartz Inc. is a boutique law firm specialising in litigation with lawyers in South Africa and Australia. Their South African and Australian legal network enables them to provide valuable legal services and advice to clients in South Africa and Australia. To find out more about about PSS Inc please go to http://www.phillipsilverswartz.co.za/

The organiser for the festival was Judy- Marie Steenkamp, tournament director was Graham Jurgensen, Chief Arbiter Hendrik Du Toit, supported by Petronella Piek.  The average rating for the IM Norm event was to 2331 which shows that it was a very strong event.

Bruce Mubayiwa

I am the founder and editor of Africa Chess Net. I have been playing chess for over 25 years and love writing about the game. Our goal is simple, to get more people playing chess in Africa! The game of chess is not only absorbing but a great deal of fun.

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