The New Year was kicked off on a high when South Africa hosted its biggest simultaneous chess exhibition yet earlier this month with 107 games played with 2300 participants.
According to the president of the Manguang Chess Federation, Ben de Winnaar, the Mangaung region performed well with the U8 team bringing home gold. He explained to Bloemfontein Courant that this team winning gold in their section was a great motivation to them as well as the older players to strive to always give their best.
De Winnaar said the federation had the privilege to attend the Junior Chess National Championships in Johannesburg with 80 players and 8 team managers from the Free State, with the youngest player being only six years old.
A player from the Heidedal Chess Foundation (HCF), E-Jay Gertse (7), explained that for him preparation included his coach, Vaughan Peters, teaching him new moves and perfecting the old ones. Gertse excitedly explained that he is extremely proud to have his own trophies, for U8 Board Winner – Board 6, and the team winning U8 first place overall. “I actually felt good to hear my name being called to collect these trophies,” the youngster said.
Meloney Sharrif from HCF said they are so proud of their team as it was a first for HCF to go beyond the borders of the Free State to play in such a big event and it was really a big milestone for the foundation and its players.
Meanwhile, De Winnaar said new players are more than welcome to view the Manguang Chess Federation’s website and contact them for more information regarding tournaments, how to register a club, and how to join.