Arthur Kobese: (1938-2010)

The Late Arthur Kobese – May His Dear Soul Rest in Peace

South Africa South Africa South Africa

Arthur Kobese
(South Africa)

It is with great sadness that CHESSA has learnt of the passing of Arthur Kobese. He worked for the post office in the Eastern Cape relocating to Soweto around 1980. He became prominent in Chess circles when he began to organize Chess in the Greater Soweto area, forming the Stablemates Chess Club and Central Transvaal Chess Union (Whose team participated in the Junior Nationals in 1984 for the first time) and organizing regular tournaments such as the Standard Bank Open.

  • Mr. Arthur Kobese was one of the Founding members of Chess South Africa. He was Interim President in 1994 and 1995 and was elected President from 1996 – 2001.
  • He also served as Zone 4.3 President from 1996 to 2000.
  • He was the FIDE Delegate to a number of Olympiads.

Mr. Kobese’s contribution to unifying and building chess in the country was unmatched and invaluable.

CHESSA’s condolences go out to his family and in particular to his son International Master Watu Kobese and his widow Muriel.

~ Emelia Ellappen, CHESSA President



  1. Daaim,

    Thank you for passing on this information. On behalf of the Jamaican chess fraternity, I extend condolences to the Kobese family and wish for them all the very best at this time of bereavement. To our friend Watu I say that one way to help you through these rough times is to get the chess sets and/or books out and just delve. I did that when my mother died in 2005 and it helped tremendously. All the very best for the future.

    Warmest Regards,
    Ian Wilkinson
    Jamaica Chess Federation

  2. Daaim,
    The Zambian chess community is saddened by the loss of Arthur Kobese who was a dedicated and selfless chess administrator. Arthur was a unifying force in both South Africa and on the entire African continent.
    We join IM Watu Kobese and the Kobese family as they mourn the passing of a true African chess giant.
    It was a privelege to work with Arthur and he touched so many chess lives with his dedication and humour.
    May his soul rest in eternal peace.

    Lewis Ncube
    Vice President
    World Chess Federation (FIDE)

  3. Daaim,

    Botswana is shocked by the passing of Arthur Kobese, who played an active role in helping chess development in our country. I first met him in 1995 as an opponent in a Botswana Open game. In that game he outplayed me but left a piece hanging when I was there for the taking. I remember him in jovial mood despite losing the game and helping out with the analysis which helped me a lot.

    We would meet later on in the Zone 4.3 championships which was won by a gangly Amon Simutowe, where he did an excellent job as an arbiter. He always opened his home for Botswana players, and I remember that a young Ignatius Njobvu once spent a few days in Soweto enroute to an international tournament. Up to this day Njobvu does not stop talking about the hospitality of his host, and number of chess books that filled Watu’s study room!!
    He always helped Botswana with tips on organising events, and was instrumental in organising a training for chess arbiters in Botswana, attended by different nationals from Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
    To my good friend Watu, our prayers are with you and your family in your sadness.

    Kenneth Boikhutswane
    Secretary General
    Botswana Chess Federation

  4. It is with the most tremendous sadness, that I just discovered the news of my friend Arthur Kobese’s passing. I always thought he would be there.
    I send all my all deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to his son Watu my friend, and to his family. Arthur was such a fantastic person, so extremely intelligent, a Fide Master, and the best organizer of chess events in South Africa, and I think anywhere in the world, which he always made so friendly and full of fun. And Watu, when I spoke to Auther by e-mail some years ago, It was clear what great pride and honour you gave him, he had the opportunity to see your great chess genius flower.
    All my best wishes,
    Malcolm Rabie

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