Category Archives: South Africa

Give our guys (and girls) a chance!

South Africa’s players did not fare too well at the continental championship in Botswana, in May. So what should we do to advance our talented, but under-performing players. In the old Soviet days the Russian Federation were effective but pretty ruthless in ensuring that stars from Botvinnik to Kasparov progressed from talented amateurs to world class champions. How did they do it? Established grandmasters had to earn their keep by taking a junior under their wings and become their coaches and Read more [...]
South African Chess

My Part in Shaping SA Chess

I was recently honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award in South African Chess. It is the kind of thing that leads to reminiscences for which a blog is the ideal vehicle. I won't go back to my early years (it can be summed up as: Chess Fanatic from the age of 9) but two things that changed my life were: the Fischer-Spassky match in 1972. I covered the match for the Cape Times and through that became well known in Cape Town (and in the Independent Group of newspapers, as it turned out later). Being Read more [...]
Olafsson, Koneru, Dvoretsky, Timman, Spassky

To Coach or Mentor

You don’t need a coach to teach you the moves. There are many initiatives to improve the level of coaching in South Africa with the lure of coaches being awarded titles — an obsession in chess, but this will be the subject of another article. These initiatives have done a wonderful job at increasing the chess-playing skills of the coaches, but how to apply these skills to the players you are supposed to coach, that is the question. Take Mark Dvoretsky. At the height of his playing career Read more [...]

Awards for 2012 in the Western Cape

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 Read more [...]