CHESS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

The SA Open is un­der way at UWC.

SA’s top rated player, Daniel Cawdery, heads a field of 500 en­tered in three sec­tions.

First held in 1962, the SA Open was held ev­ery two years un­til 1995, after which it has been held an­nu­ally. It was not held in 1992 due to the uni­fi­ca­tion of the var­i­ous sports bod­ies after apartheid.

The in­ter­na­tional chal­lenge is led by Ser­bian GM Alexa Strikova, and Rod­well Makoto, a Zim­bab­wean In­ter­na­tional Mas­ter who won the South African Open in 2012.

Dono­van van den Heever (born 1981) is play­ing. He be­came an In­ter­na­tional Mas­ter in 2014, and won the South African Closed Cham­pi­onship in the same year and has rep­re­sented South Africa at the Chess Olympiad.

The most suc­cess­ful win­ner of the Open is Kenny Solomon who is not en­tered as he is not in the coun­try. He won the South African Cham­pi­onship in 2003 and the South African Open three times, in 1999, 2005 and 2007, and was also the top ranked South African in 2003.

He be­came an In­ter­na­tional Mas­ter in 2004. Dur­ing the 40th Chess Olympiad in Is­tan­bul Solomon earned his fi­nal GM norm.

Al­though Solomon has never reached the re­quired rat­ing of 2500, he earned the Grand­mas­ter ti­tle by win­ning the African Con­ti­nen­tal Cham­pi­onship in De­cem­ber 2014, thereby be­com­ing the first chess grand­mas­ter from South Africa and a sec­ond from sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa after Amon Simu­towe.

Watu Kobese, 43, is play­ing. He has won the South African Closed Cham­pi­onship three times, in 1998, 2003 and 2011, and the South African Open twice, in 2004 and 2008.

Kobese was awarded by Fidé the ti­tle of In­ter­na­tional Mas­ter in 1995. He played for South Africa in the Chess Olympiads of 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014.

Our top ju­nior, Daniel Bar­rish, 15, is over­seas, play­ing in tour­na­ments in the Czech Repub­lic.

In the Fidé Open in eské Bud jovice Bar­rish dis­tin­guished him­self by beat­ing a Rus­sian Grand­mas­ter, Evgeny Gleize­rov, rated 2506.

In 2001 Gleize­rov tied for 1st-3rd with Stanislav Voit­sekhovsky and Michal Krasenkow at Bar­linek.

He tied for 3rd-6th with David Ber­czes, Yuriy Kuzubov and Pia Cram­ling in the Ril­ton Cup 2008/2009.

He came first at Parla 2009. In 2010 he tied for 1st-6th with Kamil Mito , Bo­jan Ku­ra­jica, Yuri Gon­za­lez Vi­dal, Lázaro Bruzón and Bartłomiej He­berla in the 4th Tor­neo In­ter­na­cional de Aje­drez Ciu- dad de La La­guna. In 2011 he tied for 1st-4th with Gadir Gu­seinov, Merab Ga­gu­nashvili and Sergei Tivi­akov in the 19th Fajr Open Chess Tour­na­ment, and won the In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­onship of Slo­vakia in Ban­ská

Bar­rish also held Ukrainian IM Polyakov Maxim, 2414, to a draw.

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