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2,400 Play Chess Tournament Under 1 Roof

2,400 Play Chess Tournament Under 1 Roof

thims
Feb 12, 2016, 8:26 PM 0

The Chess Western Province of South Africa organized the South African Juniors Chess Championship under the auspices of The South African Chess Federation. The tournament held at the University of Cape Town Hall in the Western Province of South Africa, from  January 3-10. This was broken down into the following: The main SAJCC Tournament held from January 4-7. The Wild Card and the Inter Regional was organized from January 7-10.

The South African Juniors Chess Championships (SAJCC) was truly a record-breaking event in Africa and some regions of the world. The scope, the number of chess players, and the people involved in making the event possible, made the tournament a truly memorable event that will last in the hearts of all for a long time to come. There were more than 2400 chess players who took part in the South Africa Junior Chess Championships (SAJCC). 240 teams of 10 players per team took part in the event. That is a massive number of players in one place. The teams comprised different categories, which included: The Under 8, Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16, Under 18 and Under 20 with both boys and girls section.

The tournament was hosted at the historic and beautiful University of Cape Town Hall, and it would be proud to have hosted such number of players, creating a level of organization, which can only be matched/surpassed by Nigeria in terms of the numbers, and probably facilities.

 There was excellent coverage of the tournament in the local media during the event, on the South African News desk, the local Newspapers, and the team did well with the Facebook social media platform also. On the first day of the tournament, there was the national anthem, with the kids showing patriotism to the nation

 Picture by Reint Dykem

On one of the mornings there was a round of applause for the Matriculating Students before the games began. Some chess players had done very well. It was great that during a big event like this, SAJCC acknowledged the importance of education. Chess and Education certainly go well together.

Pictures of Some of the Winning Teams by Reint Dykem

During the tournament, an analysis room was being used at the Sports Center by teams and players to go over their games after each round. 

Towards the business end of the tournament, in the last few rounds, the players frantically tried to make sure that they have made the medal list. Teams tried to squeeze every last point in the matches, more often than not it is goes down to one or two boards to make the difference. Every single board point counts in the team competitions, and this was no different.

Bruce Mubayiwa attended the event as one of the team managers from Northern Cape. He was the team manager for Under 14A team. He shares his personal insights and experiences from the event.

 Toward the end of the event he reflected on the tournament and here is what he had to say:

"We have now had many Rounds at The 2015 South African Junior Chess Championships (SAJCC), and there are no easy games in this tournament. I have lived through the drama of wins, losses and hard-fought draws as a Team Manager and Part Coach. I don't know who it's tougher for, the players, the team managers or the parents. The players have to sit for hours and hours, trying to outplay each other. Meanwhile the team managers and parents have to live through all the drama. Sometimes you think it's going to be a draw, then the position looks losing and then there is a win, or someone makes an illegal move and it completely changes everything. You add up the team score so far and work out what it will take to win the match. Then as the evaluation of the position starts to change, you wonder if you are still going to get that win or maybe it's just best to settle for a draw, but you still cannot talk to your players.

Pictures by Reint Dykem

The parents sit very patiently inside or outside the playing hall. Judging from expressions on their son or daughter, they can take a good guess whether everything is going well. A dejected look at the end of the game needs absolutely no explanation. An excited or relieved player could mean a win or draw, it all depends.

Picture by Reint Dykem

Andrew Fisher, the Convener of the SAJCC 2015 gave his morning update during the championships.

Picture by Reint Dykem

He was one of the people who worked very hard behind the scene with his team to help make the tournament a reality and success. There was a nice big picture of him, right on the front page of Cape Times, a daily local newspaper talking about the SAJCC.

There was time before the round starts to celebrate birthdays of chess players and administrators. The Rounds started at 9am each morning. There were two rounds every day, one in the morning and the other one in the evening. For security reasons, Players have been instructed to use shuttles to move and not walk the distance. The shuttles were very convenient to move back and forth between the venue and hostels, and everyone loved the tourism attraction they got from following the shuttles.

Final Team Standings

Ranking Crosstable Under 8A Section

Rk.   Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1   Tshwane A  *  6 3 5 6 6 34,0 11 0
2   Western Province A  *  3 2 6 6 6 32,0 11 0
3   Nelson Mandela Bay A 0 3  *  4 3 6 5 6 27,0 10 2
4   Ethekwini A 3 4 2  *  3 5 27,0 10 0
5   Johannesburg Metro A ½ ½ 3 3  *  3 5 5 20,0 7 0
6   Dr Kenneth Kaunda A 1 0 0 1 3  *  5 5 15,0 5 0
7   Northern Cape A 0 0 1 1 1  *  7,0 0 0
8   Boland A 0 0 0 ½ 1 1  *  6,0 2 0
 
   

Ranking Crosstable Under 10A Section

Rk.   Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1   Western Province A  *  9 9 54,5 12 0
2   Tshwane A  *  6 9 9 9 48,5 12 0
3   Nelson Mandela Bay A  *  6 10 10 47,0 10 0
4   Ethekwini A  *  7 38,0 10 0
5   Johannesburg Metro A 4 4  *  7 6 9 37,0 6 0
6   Dr Kenneth Kaunda A 1 3  *  6 6 21,5 4 0
7   Bojanala-Platina A 1 1 0 4 4  *  5 18,5 1 0
8   Ekurhuleni A 1 1 0 3 1 4 5  *  15,0 1 0
 
   

Ranking Crosstable Under 12A Section

Rk.   Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1   Western Province A  *  8 9 9 10 10 61,0 14 0
2   Tshwane A  *  7 6 9 9 8 9 50,5 12 0
3   Ethekwini A 2 3  *  6 6 8 40,0 10 0
4   Nelson Mandela Bay A 1 4 4  *  6 6 7 7 35,0 8 0
5   Dr Kenneth Kaunda A 1 4  *  6 9 8 35,0 6 0
6   Johannesburg Metro A 1 1 4 4 4  *  6 26,5 4 0
7   Ekurhuleni A 0 2 2 3 1  *  5 16,5 1 0
8   Buffalo City A 0 1 ½ 3 2 4 5  *  15,5 1 0
 
   

Ranking Crosstable Under 14A Section

Rk.   Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1   Ethekwini A  *  8 6 8 9 55,5 14 0
2   Johannesburg Metro A  *  7 9 7 46,0 12 0
3   Western Province A  *  4 8 9 9 42,5 8 0
4   Tshwane A 2 6  *  6 5 5 10 37,5 8 0
5   Dr Kenneth Kaunda A 4 4  *  6 33,0 6 0
6   Nelson Mandela Bay A 2 3 2 5 4  *  7 31,5 5 0
7   Ekurhuleni A 1 1 1 5 3  *  6 21,5 3 0
8   Bojanala-Platina A ½ 3 1 0 4  *  12,5 0 0
 
   

Ranking Crosstable Under 16A Section

Rk.   Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1   Western Province A  *  10 10 53,5 12 0
2   Tshwane A  *  5 9 9 10 51,5 11 0
3   Ethekwini A 5  *  5 8 9 10 51,0 12 0
4   Johannesburg Metro A 5  *  9 9 48,0 9 0
5   Nelson Mandela Bay A 1  *  8 26,5 4 0
6   Ekurhuleni A 0 1 2 1  *  5 20,0 3 0
7   Dr Kenneth Kaunda A ½ 0 1 1 5  *  7 17,0 3 0
8   Sedibeng A 0 ½ 0 2 3  *  12,5 2 0
 
   

Ranking Crosstable Under 18A Section

Rk.   Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1   Western Province A  *  9 9 8 56,0 14 0
2   Tshwane A  *  6 7 6 9 45,5 12 0
3   Johannesburg Metro A 4  *  40,0 10 0
4   Nelson Mandela Bay A 1  *  4 6 36,0 6 0
5   Sedibeng A ½ 3 6  *  5 5 26,5 4 0
6   Ethekwini A 4  *  5 26,5 3 0
7   Dr Kenneth Kaunda A 1 4 5  *  25,0 3 0
8   Capricorn A 2 1 5 5  *  24,5 4 0
 
   

Ranking Crosstable Under 20A Section

Rk.   Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1   Western Province A  *  4 5 6 5 6 34,0 14 0
2   Nelson Mandela Bay A  *  5 4 6 32,0 12 0
3   Johannesburg Metro A 2  *  4 3 6 5 27,0 9 0
4   Ekurhuleni A 1 2  *  5 21,0 8 0
5   Ethekwini A 1 3  *  4 19,0 7 0
6   Tshwane A 0 2 0  *  5 14,5 4 0
7   Free State A 1 ½ 1 2 1  *  4 12,0 2 0
8   Bojanala-Platina A 0 0 ½ 1 2  *  8,5 0 0
 
   

This report was made possible through the efforts and help of Mr Bruce Mubayiwa.

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