Chess Team Wins Gold!

Chess A Team
Chess A Team

Chess Tour to Grey College, Bloemfontein : 21-24 February 2019
The Grey College Invitation Chess Tournament is a rated Swiss team tournament of 5 rounds held in 2 sections. Each round is 2 hours in duration- each player gets 1 hour to conquer his opponent’s king.
The following 16 learners participated in the Grey College Invitational Chess tournament:
Team A Grade
Naseem Essa 10
Sachen Pather 11
Thirushan Pather 12
Viseshan Govender 11
Team B
Siyanda Myeni 12
Shriyan Bodasing 12
Kaylan Naicker 11
Mahomed Essop 11
Team C
Bongamandla Ndaba 10
Joshua McClure 11
Pershanthan Govender 11
Karan Moodley 11
Team D
Sharik Ramjee 10
Milind Bandulal 10
Jonathan Slomczynski 10
Shail Mungal 11
Thursday 21 Feb:
Thursday 21 February at 08h00 16 boys left for Bloemfontein amidst much banter and excitement as we were going to compete against 22 other schools from the various provinces.
Mr Cele thankfully broke the 10 hour journey with a welcome stop at Montrose to fill the tummies and stock up on liquids. It was becoming increasingly unbearably hot and dry. The fluctuating AC aboard the Sprinter did not help improve things at all. As per tradition, a quick stopover at the World’s Smallest Church at Van Reenen’s allowed us to stretch our legs, visit the landmark site and take a few photos.
At last we reached our B&B, “Rusplek”. After checking in and a quick shower and change (for most of us at least), we went in search of some food. McDonalds, KFC and Nandos were going to see a lot of us over the next few days.
Friday 22 Feb:
After a scrumptious full English breakfast served by the most pleasant ladies ever, the boys adjourned to the conference room to write their standardised tests.
Day 1 of the tournament – three teams played in the B division and one in the A division. 64 of the 100s of Chess players in the tournament had been ranked and we were delighted that four of them were our boys:
Naseem Essa was ranked 2nd!
Sachen Pather was ranked 5th
Thirushan Pather was ranked 30th and
Viseshan Govender was ranked 42nd
Armed with their pencils, notation books and clocks the battle began.
Round 1 of the Grey College Invitational Team Chess Tournament commenced at 3pm under sweltering conditions. Each team consisted of 4 players. A total of 264 learners from around the country participated in this 60/60 Round Robin challenge.
At the end of round 2 (20h30) our team scores were:
A team … 6.5
B team … 7
C team … 5.5
D team … 5
By 10pm the tired souls were all sent to bed.
Saturday 23 Feb:
Day 2 of the competition started at 8. 30 with round 3. It was a stressful day as we knew that whatever happened after each round would determine the winners or the losers. We were so hungry for the win. We decided that: “WE will win with grace and if we lost we will lose with even greater grace” This became our motto for the day.
Team A’s game was live-streamed by Grey TV. The boys put on a good show by winning this round. Unfortunately, Team B was the only team who lost this round. The competition became much more intense from here on. Round 4 was a much better round, with all teams winning their games. The deciding factor was after lunch, so a great deal of pressure was put on our boys.
With much nervousness, and loads of encouragement, the boys faced their last opponents. Team A’s nemesis, Waterkloof Hoër Skool, was all set to beat us … tension ran high … and Team A drew.
The only team that lost this round was Team B. Team D won all their games.
The end of Day 2, the end of the Tournament, saw Naseem Essa win the Board 1 prize for winning all his games, and Jonathan Slomczynski winning the Board 3 prize for winning all his games.
And now for the big one … WE WON THE TOURNAMENT…. TEAM A placed first!
Official Results:
1st DHS
2nd Welkom High School
3rd Prestige College
4th Grey College
In the B division there were 31 teams and our D team was placed 6th, the B Team 11th and the C team 17th.
All the boys received certificates and the winners received gold medals and prize money of R2200 for school Chess.
Congratulations to all the boys who participated. Considering the calibre of the competitors, I believe our boys performed exceptionally well.
Ms S Nagiah
M-i-C: Chess/Head of Cultural Activities

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