Reflections on Western Cape Club Champs by Dr Lyndon Bouah

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Last weekend 7-9 December 2018 I was awakened by the waves of the Indian Ocean in Stilbaai. Eden Chess Union was hosting the 2018 edition of the Western Cape Club Championship. The event is an annual one and has been held since 2012. Steinitz Chess Club has won the event since inception. The event tends to rotate around the Western Cape.

This year the event was held at the Preekstoel resort in Stilbaai. The resort is named after the rocks that jut out of the sea in Stilbaai. Stilbaai is situated 26 kilometres off the N2 on the way to Mossel Bay. Stilbaai, according to many travel brochures, is rapidly becoming one of the most popular holiday destinations on the Garden Route, yet it has still managed to maintain its peaceful character and scenic beauty.

The Indian Ocean washes onto miles of unspoilt white beaches. The village of Jongensfontein lies 10km away and offers breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. Age old indigenous Khoisan fish traps can be seen at low tide. We went to have supper at the famous restaurant On the Rocks which offered a mind boggling 1kg Steak!! None of us dared! We did however go for the fabulous on the rocks Burgers which was a treat!

Stilbaai has a unique relationship to chess in that Tannie Wynie Robbertse lives in Stilbaai. She won the First SA Ladies Open in 1976. She was the champion for eleven years. She has been living here for 26 years and freely dispensed her pearls of wisdom. At the age of 84 she moves around with ease and speaks her mind.

Stilbaai is also known as the Bay of Sleeping Beauty, is a town along the Southern coast of South and is about four hours by car from Cape Town. It is part of the Hessequa local municipality in the Western Cape. Hessequa means people of the trees in Khoi The Goukou River is an estuarine river that divides Stillbaai into East and west. The river is now also part of a marine reserve, but fishing and collecting bait

is still allowed.

The event this year had 11 teams of which the majority was from Eden. The clubs are

Steinitz, Blackjacks (WP), Mossel Bay, Slangrivier, George and Riversdale. The Eden Chess league last year had many teams and has been won for the last three years by Mossel Bay chess club. Mr Terry Quirk who retired to this neck of the woods arranged the Chess Event with his lovely wife Saskia. He was ably assisted by Mr Azriel Johnson who did sterling work on and off the board.

Riversdale entered two teams and the hard work of Mr. Pietie Steyn is paying off. He is one of the most tireless chess administrators and organisers in the province. He ensures that there is growth and that chess is flourishing. Riversdale is described as a floral paradise of the Garden Route and is situated on the N2. It is home to a number of historic churches: St Mattews Anglican Church was built from stone in 1859, the Lutheran church in 1907 and the Dutch Reformed church in 1907.

Slangrivier is described as a settlement in the Eden District in the Western Cape. It has a total population of 3000 people. The name of the village, which is located 15km from Heidelberg, means snake river. It was established in 1838, when Sir George Grey awarded the small settlement to the indigenous community for their loyalty during the Cape Frontier Wars.

This year the Blackjacks chess club from Bishop Lavis also made the trip. The young club ended sixth in the WP Premier league and under the inspirational leadership of Llewellin Louw the club has thrived. They hired a combi and brought two teams to the Western Cape Club Championships. The guys are strong club players and this year they drew 4-4 with Steinitz in the league. So the stage was set.

Blackjacks chess club

The ratings of the Eden players at the event was not very high but that belies the fact that they have a strong chess culture going and that they have a good understanding here in Eden. Because of their practical understanding, once they survive the opening then the players become extra dangerous and of course then tactics abound. A number of the top players found this out to their cost at the 2017 event.

The event was played over two days and was won by Steinitz who has defended their title with a dominant score of 23.5 / out of 24. Steinitz played against George, Mossel Bay, Riversdale, Steinitz B and both Blackjacks teams. Steinitz scored emphatic victories but the games were hard fought. Micheal James played board one while Lyndon Bouah was board two, with the two De Jäger brothers Luan and Andreas playing board three and four. Tristan Willenberg held Luan De Jager to a draw after a hard fight which went down to the wire. In the Steinitz B team Glenn Willenberg played board one, with his brother Shaun on board two with his son Tristan on board three and then Leon De Jager made his long awaited debut on board four for the B team.

Blackjacks showed their mettle when they defeated all the teams but lost to Steinitz 4-0. The players led by Jamie Geduld on board one, followed by Shaun Brown, and Llewellin Louw. The players played excellent chess and it was a nice finale to their season. Well done Blackjacks for making the effort. I had a tough game against Leatin Booys who essayed a Kings Indian defence but suffered through the Saemisch variation of the Kings Indian Defence.

The final scores are :

A section

  1. Steinitz Chess Club – 12 match points 6 match victories.
  • Blackjacks A
  • Riversdale A

B section

  1. Blackjacks B
  • Steinitz B
  • Riversdale B

The board prizes were won:

A section Board prizes

  1. Micheal James 6/6 Steinitz
  • CM Lyndon Bouah 6/6 Steinitz
  • Luan De Jager  5.5/ 6 Steinitz
  • CM Andreas De Jager 6/6 Steinitz

B section Board prizes

  1. Victor Meiring (Blackjacks)
  • Shaun Willenberg (Steinitz)
  • Theo Kleinhans ( Slangrivier)
  • Christiano Heynse (Riversdale) The full results are attached hereto:

This week Mr. Terry Quirk and his lovely wife Saskia attended a lovely function in Paarl. The Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport bestowed upon Mr Terry Quirk the honour of being acknowledged as a legend of sport. Terry was for years associated with Randburg chess club and later on when he moved to retire he assisted Eden chess. Eden chess Union nominated him for his sterling work in establishing the Eden chess league since 2012 and annually organising the Knysna Oyster festival. Terry also met his wife Saskia when they organised some events in Guateng South. Well done Terry! Chess is proud of you.

The Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport with Mr Terry Quirk

This year was a good year for the Steinitz Chess Club. They started off by defending their title at the 2017 Western Cape Club Championships and scored six victories. At the 2018 WP league Steinitz achieved the rare distinction of winning the WP League for the tenth time in the modern era when they played eleven matches and scored a remarkable 8 victories and three draws. In the 2018 Western Cape Club Championships they played six and won all six matches. So in summary 23 classical matches played

  • 20 matches won with three drawn matches (Stellenbosch, African Chess Lounge and Blackjacks in the WP league). A good win for the club.

Regards

Dr Lyndon Bouah

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