Xhosa Chess terminoligy created


Watu Kobese

IsiXhosa-speaking chess players in South Africa can now boast their own terminology book for the game, a first in the country.

Today the Western Cape cultural affairs and sport department launched the book that standardises the translation of chess terms from English to IsiXhosa.

Uthinjiwe! Or, as most chess players around the world usually say, Checkmate!

International chess master, Watu Kobese, says he had a lot of fun coming up with what he called dynamic names for each of the chess terms.

When referring to the rook, it’s called umbhayimbhayi which means a “big gun”, or assault rifle.

A bishop is an intlola which refers to a “spy” who, in the past, used to spy on the enemy in an impending war.


About Tsogo Sun Moves for Life

Education through Chess. A proven intervention to unlock the potential of SA's children. Moves for Life unlocks the cognitive potential of South African children by structured implementation of chess education where essential aspects of the game are actively linked with math, science and lifeskill concepts. Learning fundamental concepts are made fun and exciting for the child.
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