Chess Champions Again

Mossel Bay Chess Club made history when they retained the Eden Chess League’s Premier crown for the second year running. What makes this achievement even more remarkable is that MBCC is the first club that has managed this feat in the five-year history of the competition.

Saskia Quirk (League Organiser), Bjorn October, Ralph Cloete, Henry Willemse and Wayne Jordaan
Saskia Quirk (League Organiser), Bjorn October, Ralph Cloete, Henry Willemse and Wayne Jordaan

The team consisting of Bjorn October(Capt.), Wayne Jordaan, Ralph Cloete, Henry Willemse and Gurome Gelderbloem played consistently throughout the two weeks of the competition and won all their matches except for a minor slip-up when they drew against Oudtshoorn A. In an echo of their championship winning performance of 2015, the team went into the last day of competition trailing Riversdale A by 1 match point, however sparkling chess from especially Bjorn October and Ralph Cloete saw the team retaining the trophy by 1 point from their nearest rivals. Riversdale A eventually finished 2nd followed by George A in 3rd place. Club chairperson, Ralph Cloete describe the victory as even more impressive than the first, given the added pressure of being defending champions.

Saskia Quirk (League Organiser), Chaiden Kiewit, Morne Matthee, Gurome Gelderbloem and Ralph Botha
Saskia Quirk (League Organiser), Chaiden Kiewit, Morne Matthee, Gurome Gelderbloem and Ralph Botha

As a further testimony to the depth of the club, the B-team, consisting of Morne Matthee, Ralph Botha, Gurome Gelderbloem and Chaiden Kiewit, won the 2nd Division trophy. Mossel Bay had a third team in the competition, and this group of youngsters consisting of Thomas Jaars, Duwin Kleinhans, Duwayne Bessie and Wanga Jobe gave a good account of themselves by finishing 5th in their group which consisted of ten teams . The future of chess in Mossel Bay is therefore looking rosy, although the lack of female players in the teams is a matter for concern.

Back: Ralph Botha, Chaiden Kiewit, Morne Matthee, Gurome Gelderbloem, Wayne Jordaan, Henry Willemse, Ralph Cloete and Bjorn October. Front: Duwayne Bessie, Wanga Jobe, Duwin Kleinhans and Thomas Jaars
Back: Ralph Botha, Chaiden Kiewit, Morne Matthee, Gurome Gelderbloem, Wayne Jordaan, Henry Willemse, Ralph Cloete and Bjorn October. Front: Duwayne Bessie, Wanga Jobe, Duwin Kleinhans and Thomas Jaars

Mossel Bay Chess Club meets twice a week at the Methodist Church Hall (Wesley Centre) located in Queen Street. Wednesday evenings at 8pm for adults and Fridays at 6pm for juniors. All are welcome and parents are encouraged to drop off their kids for some chess coaching sessions on Friday evenings. As encouragement to parents, we only need to quote an insight from International Fide Master, Saudin Robovic, who said:”Chess is a terrific way to build self image and self esteem.”

Round 2 in action: Mossel Bay A vs Oudtshoorn A
Round 2 in action: Mossel Bay A vs Oudtshoorn A

The Club would like to thank the Methodist Church for the use of the Wesley Centre where the first leg of the competition was hosted and De Jagers clothing store for their generous sponsorship to the team. The donation was much appreciated and the club calls on other businesses or individuals in our town to contribute to the development of a sport that do not just provide pleasure to its aficionados, but contributes to the intellectual development of participants, which can only benefit society in the long run. Interested parties can contact the club’s Chairperson, Ralph Cloete (083 215 6241), Treasurer Bjorn October (071 996 4891) or Secretary Henry Willemse (079 452 1300). Mossel Bay Chess Club would also like to inform all chess players, old and young, of the Mossel Bay Chess Open Tournament which will be held at Garden Route Casino from the 30th September 2016 till 1st of October 2016.

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