Kasparov visiting South Africa

What should be a great opportunity for South Africa, [ and the chess players], I think is more of a 'low' for our chess players. Kasparov is visiting, but hey, CHESSA will probably not be meeting with him - from what I can gather. [See CHESSA's official website] Hopefully they will meet and have some 'discussions' about Chess and the future of Chess in South Africa. You would expect an Official body to meet with someone like Kasparov, wouldn't you?


On this following link you can 'meet' one of the Trustees of Moves for Life, the private company that actually arranged Kasparov's visit. Is it not a bit 'unfair' of Moves for Life to arrange Kasparov's visit without consulting CHESSA or without inviting CHESSA to meet with Kasparov too? Is it not 'wrong' of Kasparov NOT to suggest to meet CHESSA? or is it again the money that 'talks'? I rest my case.


  • 5 years ago


    Hi Forrie

    I'm not sure if Mickey will come back here to read your post. I think if you go to MFL's website and contact them, you might get a response. I think Mickey only registered on chess.com in order to leave his response to my post.

    I have sympathy with your problem of teachers. Teachers must really be interested in chess to be trained as a 'chess teacher' at their school. Not all teachers are really eager or willing, but for the sake of chess, let's cross fingers and hope you will have a good response so all children can learn the game. It's more than 10 years that I've said to my ex-head that I would love to see chess as a 'subject' in our schools in SA - and I'm pleased to see that MFL are doing their 'bit' to promote the game at least, even though it's not a subject. - as yet! Will start saying my prayers for you. :)

  • 5 years ago


    Hi Mickey

    How does a school get involved in MFL? What is the cost?

    I am one of 3 trainers that help to train the children that goes to SAs from the Vaal Triangle area. However, we recognise the problem of training children (esp small children) that dont go to SAs. They are never teached and either give up chess for something else or just never improve. We are also now thinking of training teachers to teach the children as it is just impossible for 3 trainers to train the whole Vaal Triangle, except for the few provincial players.



  • 5 years ago


    Hi Mickey

    I do appreciate your long explanation here. I've enjoyed reading it and believe me, I do believe you. My 'experience' with Chessa is quite negative. I have a chess blog - see my profile. I love chess myself and had my chess teams when I was in SA and my A-team did really well, won eaven the league against schools like Pretoria Oos/Menlyn Primary - [few years ago now!] and I was just from a inner-city primary school at the time. I know Henk Hoek and Elise Steenkamp quite well and was very successful with my chess. - So, started the chess blog and blogged chess in general - tons of links about the benefits of chess, chess research etc. Blogged the African Juniors about 3 years ago - when in Malawi -next year too and even the SA Juniors about 2 years ago too. I've tried Chessa - for contacts and information, but hey, if you are 'not interested' into doing something for Chess, then you are not. Some people have a CAN DO attitude and some not. You guess where I want to put Chessa? - with my 'experience'? Even before I left SA, I attended meetings where we tried to 'bring change' - and I don't have to say what the attitude then was too. I've given up with Chessa. I know they don't own me anything, I'm just a blogger that's looking to blog chess games and to promote the game and to promote our players in SA - so why would they be interested in such a 'pleb' like me? Anyway... all I can say is that Children and Chess - and the REAL game of Chess - not in the interest to everyone is and obviously also not to Chessa. It's sad to see such information published on an official site, whereas the opposite proved to be true. Well, I rest my case for a second time. Thanks for registering on chess.com just to leave me the message.

  • 5 years ago


    Hi Annabelle

    I am a trustee of Moves for Life and my name appears in the letter on the CHESSA website. I am however responding in my own personal capacity and not as an MFL trustee.

    Yes, you are correct, a tremendous opportunity has been missed by chess administrators for the benefit of chess players in South Africa. The visit by GM Garry Kasparov was however a great success and it is impossible to place a value on the exposure that chess recieved during the past couple of days.  We have received radio, TV, and print media coverage, both domestically and internationally, that is probably worth hundreds of thousands of Rands, and highly beneficial for chess in SA.  Much more could have however been achieved if all parties co-operated.

    I believe it necessary to respond to you as you have now yourself fallen victim to the disinformation published on the CHESSA website. The MFL trustees have decided to make a deliberate attempt to not get involved in any public debate with CHESSA. This is neither in the interests of  MFL nor in the interests of chess in general.

    Your conclusion expressed in your letter justifies the MFL standpoint. Nobody can win a public debate when there is doubt as to who speaks the truth and who does not. And after all is said and done it is only chess that loses and suffers from a fruitless public debate carried out in this vein.

    Would you have come to the same conclusions if you had knowledge of the opposite side of the story. I will give two examples for you to ponder.

    1. MFL was informed on 1 Sept 2010 that President Jacob Zuma would be able to join us for the MFL Launch dinner on 24 Oct 2010. MFL had a meeting with CHESSA CEO the next week to discuss how best both parties could benefit from the event. MFL, at own expense, travelled to Cape Town on 15 Sept to jointly plan the event with the leadership of CHESSA. (The paper trail to prove this exists). The statements made on the CHESSA website, claiming that we provided no notification and no cooperation,  are therefore extremely unfair towards the actual efforts of MFL. The same is true for the Kasparov visit. As soon as the visit was secured CHESSA was informed and invited to participate. CHESSA notified us that they would not participate.  In fact, late in the day, CHESSA even instructed us to cancel the visit of GM Kasparov.

    2. MFL never offered to arrange any meetings with any ministers. We invited CHESSA to use the opportunity to arrange a meeting with the Minister of Sport.(The paper trail  exists).

    There are further gross inaccuracies in the CHESSA statement. MFL has made a conscience decision to not enter into a "they said we said ding dong match". MFL has much more important things to do, and part of our success has been to focus on positives and to spend our time impacting on the maths, science and life skills performance of  SA's children.

    In 2011:

    • MFL trained more than 200 teachers how to teach chess.
    • Those teachers are now teaching chess to more than 7000 children on a weekly basis.
    • MFL raised more than R2m for chess development. Most of the funds have been spent on development. A regulated portion has been spent on events such as  the Presidential dinner, development tournaments, the Kasparov visit and PR.
    • The exposure created for chess and the benefits of chess through MFL activities has been unprecidented.
    • MFL have created partnerships with a number of national and international entities that will assist our effors. These include the SA Air Force, a number of large Science Centres around the country, the David MacEnulty Foundation and now the Kasparov Chess Foundation.

    I trust you will accept my response in the constructive  spirit that it has been written. I will however refrain from any further input for obvious reasons.

    Please join our facebook page


    We will publish all our good news stories here.


    Mickey Scheepers

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