Young people aim for the stars in chess

Excitement and anticipation filled the Zoo Lake Bowls Club on July 2 during the Chess Heroes Blitz tournament.

Chess Heroes Blitz founder Corno Klaver said the turnout was impressive and he hopes to continue hosting tournaments in the future.

Silence fills the room as the chess players make their moves. Photo: Asanda Mathare

“My co-founder and I met at tournaments and eventually came up with the idea of ​​hosting some ourselves. I didn’t expect to have 60 player attendance for the blitz, usually 30 player attendance. to 40 players. There were a lot of new faces today which is exciting and hopefully we can grow it to over 100 people,” he said.

Klaver added that he was an experienced chess player who aimed to train more players.

Otto Mulholland, Emmy Mulholland and Mia Lots are excited about the next round of chess. Photo: Asanda Mathare

“I’ve been playing chess since I was three years old and have been a full-time coach for over 10 years. Chess is very good for the mind, we are also thinking of doing some development coaching… we want to start having more chessboards in the townships and encourage chess there.

Eleven-year-old Kajol Naidoo said playing chess at an early age was one of the best decisions her parents made for her.

“I started playing when I was three and played for fun. When I was four I played my first tournament and enjoyed it and have been playing regularly ever since. Attending the Chess Awards gave me motivation to fight for the trophy which I eventually won and became the South African Chess Champion,” she said.

Christopher Yoko plays against Jerome Whitten in a chess tournament. Photo: Asanda Mathare

Kajol added that she also enjoys traveling abroad to compete.

“I’ve been to China, India and Namibia. I love playing chess and will never stop competing until I become a female grandmaster.

Chess master Banele Mhango says chess tournaments are a healthy distraction for him.

“I am here today because I have enough experience in the board game, and to keep myself busy. I have qualified for the Chess Olympiad where I will soon represent South Africa in India “, did he declare.

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