The Western Province Awards Ceremony featured Ronel Pieterse as an action woman.
She was the moving force behind the annual event held last Saturday at the Dimension Data auditorium in Black River Park.
Ronel is the vice-president of Chess WP and her job was to muster scores of school children (and their parents) for the junior half of the afternoon in which each child was presented with a certificate stating which board number and in which team they were to play in at the end of the year SA Schools.
Each team lined up on stage and told to honour the principles of Medieval Knights.
After this ceremony it was the turn of league team and individual to receive their medals and statuettes.
The most moving acceptance speech was delivered by Maxwell Solomon on behalf of his grandmaster elect younger brother, Kenny. Maxwell spoke of their late father spotting the intense competitive spirit in the young Kenny and channelling his energy towards chess. Chess WP President, IM David Gluckman added to the tributes to Kenny when he told of how Kenny had driven from Venice to Maribor in Slovenia to add his support for South Africa’s juniors competing at the World Youth Championship.
Advocate Lyndon Bouah, the director general of sport in the Western Cape, noted that Maxwell Solomon, David Gluckman, Charles de Villiers, Deon Solomons and himself were present and had been part of the first team to represent South Africa after unification at the 1992 Manila Olympiad.
I was part of the negotiations that brought about unification of the chess bodies and participated in the selection of that team. DCAS Representative – Deputy Director Henry Paulse presented me with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ricardo Minnaar was not on hand to a much applauded special award for community building.
The Fide Women’s World Championship Africa was represented by three players WGM Mona Khaled from Egypt, WIM Amina Mezioud from Algeria and our own WIM Denise Frick, who was awarded the female player of the year.