Kenny Solomon, who grew up in Mitchells Plain, has achieved his ultimate goal of a grandmaster chess title, becoming the first South African to hold the title.
After winning seven games and drawing two at the 2014 African Individual Chess Championships in Namibia last month, Solomon won the championships and the grandmaster title.
Eldo Smart, president of Chess SA, said Solomon worked hard to achieve his dream of a grandmaster title.
“Kenny is the friendliest of chaps. He is one of eight children. He has dedicated his time from the age of 13 to chess.”
Solomon, who described himself as a “semi-positional, semi-tactical” player, was a script consultant on Four Corners, the SA 2013 coming-of-age film that compares the strategy and tactics required of a young chess player with those needed to survive a week in the ganglands.
According to Four Corners’ official website, Solomon “has tutored chess for its rehabilitative benefits to juvenile and adult prisoners in Pollsmoor”.
Smart says champion chess players require, “dedication, commitment, ability to reason logically, and a strong fighting victory”.
There are many ingredients to make one a good chess player, but Solomon told the Daily Maverick; “In my case, it’s dedication, determination and perseverance. As a youngster there were not too many opportunities, but I didn’t give up.”
Solomon lives in Italy with his wife and daughter.