CHESS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

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