ChessCube.com interviews South Africa’s Kenny Solomon
Kenny Solomon on the move at the 2007 South African Open.
Photo courtesy of Chessa.com.
International Master Kenny Solomon is currently in Algiers, Algeria trying to bring home a medal from the 9th All-Africa Games. Prior to the trip, he won the 2007 South African Open for the 4th time and is now challenging friend International Master Watu Kobese as the nation’s top player.
During the South African Open, Solomon sat down with ChessCube’s Tauriq Jenkins and gave an insightful interview. Among many topics was his view on how chess should be developed in South Africa.
Development is a big word,” utters Kenny, “to develop the nation, one has to target the top players and invest in them, so that juniors will aspire to them and see them as role models”. He continues, “…there is not enough development of Black players from the townships in the Western Cape, this really has to be improved.
It is interesting that he mentioned this because it has been a topic of debate for a long time in South Africa. The modest IM from the notorious Cape Flats stated that his goals are to compete once again in the World Championship Knock-out tournament.
I remember meeting Solomon at the 2001 World Open and he made quite an impression on U.S. players at the Wilbert Paige Memorial. His humble abode belied his tenacity. At the Wilbert Paige, the average number of moves in his nine games was 62! Long battles have become his trademark. This was mentioned in the article as well as many other interesting comments.
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It’s nice to hear a strong player voice and emphasize the need to become a role model to young players to help them to excel. I appreciate such a sense of community. It is clear that Mr. Solomon’s long term thinking extends far beyond the chess board. Oh, yeah–Didn’t Capa have long game too? Win any way you can!
Harlem, New York