Provincial chess make big strides during tough year

Western Cape Chess, like all other sporting codes, had a tough year, but refused to give in to the doom and gloom and kept the sport alive and healthy during trying times.

Statistically Western Cape has done very well to dominate many facets of the game. Some of our statistical highlights included the following:

  • Top of the Chess SA ranking list for the most number of active players per province in South Africa for 2020.
  • Chess Western Province remained the top region on Chess SA’s ranking list for the region with the highest rating average for the top 10 highest rated players. This is followed by Eden (12th), Cape Winelands (13th), West Coast (20th) and Overberg (27th) out of 41 active regions.
  • Eden district finished 2nd on the list with the most tournaments for 2020 followed by Chess Western Province (5th), West Coast (7th), Overberg (10th) out of 31 regions in SA.
  • 37 Western Cape Players are represented on the list of the top 100 players with the most 1st place positions (tournament wins) for 2020.

Other highlights included the appointment of Head Coach Reuben Salimu. Reuben hosted 1 online coaching seminar to support regional coaches on how to use online coaching tools. He also had one online coaching seminar for upcoming players in the Western Cape.

Chess Western Province hosted a level 1, 2 and 3 online coaching training course that was facilitated by coach Reuen and international master Watu Kobese. This was well attended by coaches from across the country.

Western Cape Chess Association also hosted a number of online chess tournaments. The Nelson Mandela Day Tournament was amongst the biggest online chess tournaments hosted on the lichess platform in South Africa.

Other highlights included the first ever Women’s tournament to honour women in sports as well as to highlight the challenges that women still experience in the world of sports. Western Cape also hosted a tournament to raise funds for CANSA. With this event chess has highlighted the importance of how sport can contribute to social cohesion and the strengthening of the social fabric of society.

As part of our strategy to ensure that there is a safe environment for players going forward, Western Cape Chess Association has established an “Over the board” Committee that has drafted a COVID-19 compliance plan for the Western Cape. The committee has trained several regional compliance officers across the Western Cape.

The first Western Cape Over the Board (OTB) tournament in the COVID-19 era was held in the Overberg region. The tournament was greeted with much enthusiasm amongst chess players in the Western Cape.

Western Cape Schools Structure also had their first Provincial Council meeting in October 2020 and has a calendar in place for next year’s school based tournaments. Western Cape Chess Association also has plans in place to host several provincial tournaments such as:

  • Western Cape Closed Chess Championships
  • Western Cape Club Championships
  • Western Cape Inter Regional Championships
  • Western Cape Women’s Chess Championships
  • Mandela Day 2021 tournament

To find out more about chess, visit