A TOURNAMENT that has for years attracted players from Western Province is the PE Chess Club Open with R8 000 prize money to be won. Tournament dates: Friday to next Sunday (A Section); Friday and Saturday (B Section)
Both sections will be Swiss-format tournaments. The A Section will be played over six rounds, the B Section over five rounds.
Western Province Schools have a new executive. President: Deon Solomons; president.chesswp@gmail. com; 060 740 8000. Vice-president: Reginald Sinden; regjsin@gmail. com; 082 325 4440. General secretary: Beverley Blows; chesswpsecretary@ gmail.com; 084 761 6896.
Maurice Ashley, the US grandmaster, will be remembered for his visit to the city some years ago. He has been back in the country and gave a wide-ranging interview.
“I recently toured Kenya, South Africa and Madagascar at the behest of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa, and I came away inspired and depressed.
“I saw a lot of talent and passion, but a lack of resources and opportunity. In economies that are challenged, few strong players migrate to those countries, so the cycle continues.
“When I was asked to be a coach by the head of the Ivory Coast delegation, I was happy to say ‘yes’. It was a wonderful experience in Baku at my first Olympiad, and I think I had an impact on my team.
“I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but New York has been home forever.”
Of course the World Championship takes place next month in New York between Magnus Carlsen and Sergei Karjakin.
“I’m hoping Agon really does a special job because success could mean something wonderful for chess in the US. I wish we had an American playing for PR purposes, but Magnus vs the Bad Boy Russian sounds like a story-line that the media can sink their teeth into.
“I think the organisers plan to pull out all the stops, so I will sit back with some popcorn and watch these guys try to pummel each other. As long as someone gets his feelings hurt at the end, I’ll be watching,” said Ashley. “The age of computers and the rise of the internet have been game-changers.
“Now, young players can’t even imagine adjourned games, the allure of correspondence chess, big thick opening encyclopedias, or waiting for moves from Reykjavik (the 1972 Fischer-Spassky match) by teletype.
“It’s a golden age for commentators to present chess in a dynamic way that reaches a world-wide audience in a snap.”