Chess spreads to South Africa's Eastern Cape
South Africa South Africa South Africa

South Africa's chess community has been bolstered by the recent success in international competition. IM Watu Kobese is well-known as is IM George Michelakis, but new upstarts like IM Kenny Solomon gives the country grounds for optimism. Because of this success, chess is now taking hold in the East Cape region. National Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour will make the ceremonial opening move at next week's prestigious Grahamstown Open chess tournament.

A recent article in the
East Cape News reports that the tournament invites 300 players from the region and is being held in conjunction with the Makana municipality, the Mind Games Project, and also  the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. Mr. Bridge Didiza, who serves as the development officer of the department said the chess is amongst the fasting growing games amongst the Blacks. Once considered a game for Whites, the game has now spread throughout the province which boasts about 6,000 players.

Mr. Didiza stated that his desire was to develop chess as part of an initiative for South Africa to be viewed as a "thinking nation." The tournament will begin at the Joza indoor sport center at noon on Thursday, on the 27th of November. it would be officially launched at the City Hall by minister Balfour and MEC for sport, arts and culture
Nosimo Balindlela.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 25 November 2003