In March The National Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa, held a press conference to honour Chess Grandmaster Kenny Solomon. African Chess Lounge (ACL) was kind enough to film that and produce the video. The following people took part in that press conference: Eldo Smart (President of Chess South Africa), Deon Solomons (President of Western Province Chess) , John Hughes (Managing Director of SABT – Kenny Solomon’s sponsor) , Mr. Gert Oosthuizen (Department of Ministry of Sports and Recreation) and of course the man himself Grand master (GM) himself Kenny Solomon.
Below is the transcript of the press conference
Dr. Deon Solomons (President Of Chess Western Province): Welcome to meet of CEO of Chess that is our first international Grand Master Kenny Solomon
Mr. Eldo Smart (President Of Chess South Africa): As many of you know this journey of Kenya has been journey of 22 years to become Grand Master of South Ease if it and for us as South Africa it’s a huge, huge moment because Kenny achievement gives us hope as a federation and it gives people in the community hope that you can achieve and everybody knows Kenya hails from Mitchells Plain so lot of people have asked me is this guy from Mitchells Plain? We would have thought he would come from those places where people have the money to back someone to become a Grand Master because it costs a lot of money and I must thank also SABT for sponsoring Kenny over the last couple of years because that really made an impact into Kenny’s success of becoming a Grand Master
John Hughes (Managing Director of SABT): We recognized a lot of the kindred spirit within Kenny and a lot of his own determination, a lot of his strategic thinking, a lot of his hard work about things that we value and we take very seriously and we try to emulate in our own company and so from a personality perspective it was a great fit weather you are involve in chess or in high jump the values fit in perfectly and then really started with Kenny and it was an agreement to support the person and not necessarily the achievements but we recognized I think that we wanted to support and to in some small way be a part of so congratulations to Kenny for those long hours in those dark moments and very well deserved.
Mr. Gert Oosthuizen (Department of Ministry of Sports and Recreation): Kenny I want to tell you that we are extremely proud of you of you, you have undoubtedly proved great pride in fact I think you provided hope in this situation to you young boys and girls throughout the country, so your volunteer will not become initiative but you become a role model. There are people who will going to watch you and you will begin something and you will see in 5 years time young boys are going to walk the way you walk because they want to be like you. So keep working making us proud.
Kenny Solomon (Chess Grandmaster): Nelson Mandela I would like to quote “It seems to be impossible until it is done” and this achievement and may present young aspiring youngsters in all sporting province and I think it’s a fine example and I would also like to thank Mr. Peter James Solomon who’s a very fine chess player himself and he was one of the South African top chess players in South Africa.
You know this magazine South African magazine that’s how I started got into chess was by being inspired by top chess players in South Africa. Yeah they inspired me and they allowed me to dream you know I could dream to become what I am today and I would like to also mention also question why can’t South Africa produce more world chess champions you know it’s not impossible.
A world Chess champion can be born in any place and it’s not impossible for South Africa to think about producing a world chess champion and I think since achieving the Grand Mastership title in December winning the African Championship a question came in my way what is the next move what is the next step and what would be the next step to become the world chess champion.
Well I could say today that I know exactly what it means and what it takes to become a world chess champion what it would take to become a world chess champion and I’m still thinking if I can do it. It’s something that requires commitment and really requires commitment but I was trying to through the question to South African and say why would people produce world chess champion from the youngsters why shouldn’t they dream about becoming world chess champion and it’s not impossible and also I thought about an establishment of a foundation, Chess Foundation in South Africa and this is what’s been in my mind for some time now yeah and yeah I’m very grateful and thank you everybody for being here.