As a way of contributing to the success of Women’s Month, the Sol Plaatje Chess Club held a tournament in which women and girls challenged one another and later engaged in the teaching of the game to the wider Galeshewe community.
The tournament was held on Monday (10/09) at the No 5 taxi rank.
The club is a non-profit organisation (NPO) registered on 25 August 2014 – this means that in two weeks’ time it will celebrate its first anniversary.
According to Aubrey Mgadi, chairperson, the tournament was a success, as it attracted youth in the community who have always had an interest in chess, but never knew where to go to become involved in the game.
“We had two tables for advanced chess players, one for less advanced, and another for novices,” said Mgadi.
He said that initially he and the other founders of the club had just been casual players at home, but they belonged to a well-organised South African Police Service (SAPS) chess club, as they were all police officers.
“We then decided to expand into the community and hence the formation of this club. We have had a number of projects such as the chess fun day on 20 June, as well as the 67 minutes of chess on Mandela Day, through which we held chess clinics for the youth and the community in Galeshewe. The club is growing in leaps and bounds even though we lack equipment for the disabled, as they have also shown interest.” She said they prided themselves in having contributed to the formation of chess communities and the development of chess in schools in Postmasburg and that they hoped to do the same at schools in Kimberley.
“During the South African chess open, held in the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre, we did not take part as a team, but as individuals. A wealth of experience was brought back and we are using that to strengthen our team of roughly 24 members.”
A member of the club, Galaletsang Motsamai, explained to Express Northern Cape that she had started playing at the age of 14 at home with her brother.
“My brother taught me the game and I am grateful for that early training. Today I managed to beat all three my opponents. It is my dream to become a woman grandmaster in chess and I hope to achieve that in five years’ time,” said Galaletsang, beaming with confidence.
Mgadi mentioned Daniel Dinaledi, Kediemetse Masilo, Serame Moepeng and the late Victor Bosman as the driving force behind the club, and Pro Tswaile and Karpof Plaatjies as role models for members.