South Africa Open goes online!

ChessCube headquarters

ChessCube’s Headquarters in South Africa.

In a very intesting experiment, Mark Levitt, the CEO of, is holding the South Africa Open with players who are not at the tournament venue. Three players are located in Australia and are playing via the Internet under the supervision of arbiters.

The SA Open’s R90,000 ($12,000) prize fund has attracted a number of players to Cape Town, including Grandmasters and International Masters from around Africa and the world, including players from 11 countries to make this the strongest SA Open ever.

In addition, International Grandmaster Gawain Jones from the UK, International Master Puchen Wang from New Zealand and International Master Mirko Rujevic from Australia, are located at a venue in Melbourne, Australia, under the watchful eye of World Chess Federation International Arbiter Gary Bekker (AUS).

According to reports, there are 300 participants in Cape Town competing in the event. Local favorite Watu Kobese will be tested by GM Amon Simutowe, who lead after eight rounds on 7/8. For more details, the press release is included here (MS-Word).

For more information, please contact Mark Levitt ( or Sarah Blake (

Main Site:


  1. Have you looked at the results…of Watu..and Ryan van Rensburg. Ryan has drawn a game against one of the GM’s. Watu …ahum…won’t say anything….when it comes to rules.

  2. Daaim, I will leave it there, not something I want to make public myself, but I’m sure chesscube will tell you if you ask them.

  3. That chesscube website is a terrible piece.I am sure the only players who visit it are the desperate ones ,really terrible.Anyway that Open is terrible in that others have to suffer inconvenience of people in Australia ,there could never be more scums in Chess than this piece of nonsense the Boers have corked up in South Africa.If I were Watu I simply would not play .How can one perfom with so much strain of organisational crap like this? Most of these tournaments organised by the Boers are held in places so difficult for black players to get to that is why black players will not rise easily.There needs to be a proper revolution there.That federation needs proper representation from the sons of the soil .Blacks cannot continue to be victimised like in Rugby and Cricket .

  4. Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an empire; what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation; what led young women and young men to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedom’s cause. Hope is what led me here today — with a father from Kenya, a mother from Kansas; and a story that could only happen in the United States of America. Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have courage to remake the world as it should be. [January 3, 2008]

    We black Africans need hope that like our American Black brothers and sisters we can make a change in chess in Africa and everything else we need to stop complaining and get organised
    Simutowe has done it GM

  5. Hi Darren
    You are not a person I would like to meet as you are insulting people without knowing the details. Do you know the officials of Chessa? Do you really think they are “boers” as you say…go and look again, you will be surprised! I’m waiting for results (final results) and go and check Chessa’s site…check the official site… nothing after the final round. I’m not in SA, but I can tell you, this is not what chess used to be like before. And…I am a “boer” if you want to know. So, stop insulting people, I might want to call you a racist too!

  6. Darren, for your information…Watu’s mobile rang and he knew the rules when it comes to mobile phones! He is a title player too, so, more reason for him to know it.

  7. Nikita u sound too happy Watu lost I could tell from your first post.I am not for political correct talk like your usual ramblers here .We need talk di tingz man .I know you would never wanna meet me coz of that,I know CHESSA runs from the days of apartheid when they let Quinteros ,Korchnoi come and play .If you think I am racist then probably this whole site is because it discusses mainly black Chess success .Neverthless I applaud your courage in trying to explain off your brothers’ behaviour .We need to move in same direction .GENS UNA SUMUS

  8. hi Darren
    I’m not happy for Watu lost! How can you say that…I was looking forward to him winning this tournament as he is one of our best players. You apparently haven’t visited my blog before and saw my entries about our players before, I excuse you for that. I like to read the chessdrum since I’ve discovered it and do read year whenever I have time. I have no issue with black people at all. All people are the same in my eyes. I grew up with black kids being my best friends as a kid and still visit them on the farm, even blogged my dear friend Sannie when I heard she died in 2007. Anyway, I’m here to talk chess-stuff only. I was involved in chess – via my school – and I do have my “experience” with chess in SA too..”before” and “after”…so I know what I’m talking about. I was in contact with one coach this morning…a “boer” if you wanna put it that way…i’m really frustrated… with Chessa….I can copy/paste the emails here, but I don’t want to spam Daaim’s blog, but I have issues with Chessa not exposing our players (black and white) enough and I have a HARD time doing it without anyone’s support from SA. Those who can help me, are not “in charge” and those who are in charge…too lazy and I won’t use the words I really want to describe them. Maybe it’s just “me”, but I can’t take it if people are so “unwilling” and not “into” something and try to make the best of it. I even contacted Sarah from chesscube 2 days ago. Well, I think I should focus on American/European-tournaments/players instead of bending myself backwards to get news of our players out.

  9. hi lahende…I’m completely calm! lol! It upsets me if other people want to criticize if they think they’re in a position to do so, but maybe I’m too criticizing Chessa at the moment for them being incapable of not posting the results we are looking for…as you yourself want to know! That’s what I’m talking about…here’s an interesting link to read too…and you will see why I get frustrated.
    GM A Simutowe (Zambia) is the winner of the SA Open 2009, you can see my blogentry, but that’s all I know! I was told that in google-chat this morning when I was looking for results that’s not on the official sites! Simutowe was anyway in the lead so no surprise he won, but who’s 2, 3, 4, etc! (SIGH)

  10. lahende,

    Calm down Nikita and Daaim?? Don’t you mean Nikita and Darren?

    It is common that the last round often goes unreported for simple reason that everything shuts down with the tournament ends. Those who are working simply forget to update the website. It happens so often in many tournaments.

    It’s good to know that Simutowe won. What happened to Gwain Jones? His name disappeared after round 5 or 6.

  11. Sorry Daaim,you are right, I meant Nikita and Darren. And to Nikita, I will check out,…..tml?id=576, probably I will learn a bit more about chessa’s competence in organising chess tournaments. I also hope that it’s true that the Zambezi shark (Amon) won.

  12. hi Daaim…Jones was still there and he was nr 2 in round 10, round 11 was the final round, but I don’t know what happened in round 11 and if he was still nr 2 in the final? That’s why I’m so anxious to know the results!
    Hi Lahende… you can also read what Jennifer Shahida said here on her blog…before her visit to SA in 2007: link here:
    “AS My fears escalated when I read an article by an old friend, Israeli GM Artur Kogan, about his own harrowing experience in South Africa.In a very long article, Kogan writes about how he signed up to play in a tournament in South Africa with nice conditions yet accepted a promotional tour when the tournament was canceled.”
    ———It is sad, as South Africa is such a beautiful country with beautiful people and such things should not happen! We do have people that can organise things if they really want to or are allowed to…let’s hope things will get better if people in charge do get the right guidance on the “know hows” of doing things the right way.

  13. Hi Lahende… I think it is true that he won, but again…we should not have to speculate about the results…if results were published, then there wasn’t any need for us to “speculate” about who won!? That’s my whole point too.

  14. That South African case with Artur Kogan sounded like a nightmare. I read the case when it was reported by the Association of Chess Players and also Kogan’s earlier account, but I have yet to hear Jackie Ngubeni’s side of it. Nevertheless, FIDE suspended him for three years I think. This was unfortunate for South Africa, but the country can still be a beacon of hope if there is more parity and access to good conditions and good competition for aspiring chess players.

  15. Did Jackie Ngubeni get a hearing??but how many times has the Greek – Georgian mafia screwed players over without anyone moaning?What has Africa ever benefitted from Omuku and Ncube?? Apart from the days of Mazouz , Rodriguez and this Angolan in the 90s nothing has been happening.

    Nikita,try mobilise other like minded people and get into CHESSA yourself,waiting on others ain’t helping you it seems.

  16. Saopen result only top3
    1st Amon Simutowe
    2rd |Gwain jones
    3rd Puchen wang
    Got email from chesscube dudes

  17. Well done Amon!.
    I read Nikita’s comments and I get a feeling he’s got some issues. he appear to be mad with Chessa for failer to do somethin he wished. The assertion that he might be racist is not far fetched.

  18. Ndawana…thank you for getting the message that I am mad with Chessa…but I can tell you, I am no racist… it’s up to you to believe me or not…I might think that you are too… _ I don’t know what gives you anyway the idea that I am…but, let’s leave the racist issue for now. I am – as Daaim has said, a SHE… and I love chess and I have contacted Brian (From Chessa) last night and I got a positive email back from him… at last somebody at CHESSA is positive and responded to an email from me! It seems to me that he is someone I can trust for info in the future to get our…whatever colour (for the record Ndawana!) out there and that our players get the recognition they should get. I did give Brian a piece of my mind and he completely understood me and acted immediately on my request. I do believe with people like him (like-minded), that we will infuture see more about our chessplayers! So, that is good news and I’m feeling a lot better now.
    To deskpro… I did email Sarah/Mark at Chesscube and I was referred to their blog…with no results! I don’t know if anyone can understand the frustration if you are desperate for anything and you get directed to “closed doors”…. but let’s be positive for the future and I look forward to blogging the SAFFAS again. (SAFFAS= South Africans)

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