The Bloemfontein girls’ school, Eunice High, played host to the national schools tournament where a total number of 396 players participated and Magoo was impressed with how the tournament went.
“It was a successful tournament. From the organiser’s point of view, it has been wonderful. The weather was the only hiccup,” Magoo told Courant.
The tournament had six age groups; boys and girls u.9, u.11, u.13, u.15, u.17 and u.19. It was an individual event whereby schools had playoffs in their districts/provinces and from there players were selected from all nine provinces (in schools).
Each province had a number of 36 players. Each player played six games and the one who ended up with most points claimed the section (age group).
“We had what we call a Swiss paring; the knockout within a knockout, but nobody goes home. Those with the same points played against each other.”
“If you win, you get a point, and those with 1 point play against each other to accumulate points until someone with the highest points becomes the winner of the section”
Joe Mahomole, the Executive Board Member of Chess South Africa, agreed with Magoo in saying that the tournament was a success, adding that the standard of the game in Free State or schools level has improved.
“What impressed me is that the tournament provided opportunity for players coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who cannot afford to attend prestigious tournament,” Mahomole said.
“The quality of the game was also impressive. All players who played in this tournament were up to scratch and that tells you that the work has been done here,” he added.
Magoo said the main reason of bringing the tournament to the City of Roses is because the province is situated in the centre of the country.
“The other reason is the open championship as well; we thought it would be best to kill two birds with one stone. It was ideal to have the schools tournament prior to the SA Open Championship.”
Magoo also thanked the people and the players for participating in the schools championship, and acknowledged that no player had paid a cent to come to the tournament as everything was paid for; meals, transport and accommodation.
Final results: 2014 SA Schools Individual Championship
KwaZulu Natal (KZN) and Gauteng dominated the championship, with 10 winners between them.
KZN winners are: Aarthi Datharam (u.9 girls), Ahmed Essa Naseem (u.11 boys), Zahra Kara (u.13 girls), Sachin Reddy (u.13 boys), Kenyana Padiachy (u.15 girls) and Kenyon Padiachy (u.17 boys)
Gauteng winners are: Yashil Modi (u.9 boys), Sonia Modi (u.11 girls), Tlale Tshepang (u.17 girls) and Gontse Molefe (u.19 girls)
Meanwhile Keegan Agulhas of Western Cape and Eastern Cape’s Raymond Ebersohn won the u.15 and u .19 boys’ categories respectively.