Cape chess club celebrates 35 years

The Mitchell’s Plain Chess Club has been making all the right moves for 35 years.

What started in 1980 with a small group of people has grown into a club with over 160 members.


The club also produced South Africa’s first chess grandmaster, Kenny Solomons.

To celebrate their milestone, they will be hosting a tournament at the Tafelsig Indoor Sports Centre this weekend, and everyone is welcome.

From beginners, intermediate to advanced players, there’s a seat for anyone at their blokkies board.

The club’s spokesman, Greg Baker, says while people often think you must be very clever to play chess, that’s really not true.

He recalls going to Lantana Primary in Lentegeur in 1989 and introducing the game at the school.

“This little girl came up to me and told me she wants to play but her mom told her sy is stadig gebore,” says Greg.

He taught her how to play chess, and she went on to dominate in a Western Cape tournament where she won three games.

Trustee of the club, Leon Gainsford, says chess can change childrens’ lives.

Leon says: “It helps with analytical thinking and if you teach them a game where every move has a consequence, they can see that in their lives as well.”

One such child was Kenny.

Greg says: “Kenny Solomons grew up in front of me playing chess.

“When he went on trips there was fundraising events that used to take place so he could attend tournaments overseas.”

To pit your wits against the Mitchells Plain Chess Club, go to the Tafelsig Indoor Sports Centre at 7pm on Friday and register.

Doors open at 9am on Saturday and Sunday.


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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