1. The 2019 edition of the South African National Police Chess Championships took place in Kimberley from 22 to 31 October 2019. All nine (9) provinces and National Head Office (HO) competed in the Championships, which consisted of an Individual 9 round Swiss (Open & Ladies Section) as well as a Round Robin Team Event. Time Control: G60 min + 2sec incr.

(Opening ceremony with the SAPS NC Band in attendance)

  • The Individual event would be hotly contested with the following rating favourites in the mix, to name but a few:

Dale Pon (HO) rated 1864 – Brother of Fide Master Matt Pon.

Hlayisani Mthombeni (GTN) rated 1721 – Defeated highly rated opponents of late. Sipho Mahlangu (HO) rated 1636 – Champion 2017 with a couple of IM scalps. Godfrey Voyi (NC) rated 1634 – Defeated Daud Amini in the 2019 SA Open.

R Mofokeng rated 1564 – Defeated IM Oatlahose Providence in the 2019 SA Open. I Valashia rated 1594 – 2018 and Defending SAPS National Champion.

D Maloba rated 1535 – 2016 SAPS National Champion


[Dale Pon (left) playing against G Voyi (right) on board 1]

  • Dale Pon raced into the early lead scoring 5/5 but in round 6 and 7 he was defeated by his own team mates from Head Office, D Maloba and S Mahlangu respectively. Thus, Maloba was now in the lead after 7 rounds with a score of 6.5/7 with Mahlangu right on his heels.
  • Both Mahlangu and Maloba drew with their respective opponents in round 8 leaving the tournament on a cliff-hanger in round 9. The top 3 positions were still up for grabs with the following match ups (and results) on the top 3 boards:
Valashia v Maloba (1-0)
Mthombeni v Mahlangu (0-1)
Pon v Mofokeng (0.5-0.5)
  • Ultimately or unfortunately Maloba ran into a brick wall in the form of the defending champion Valashia whilst Mahlangu managed to beat Mthombeni. Pon could only escape with a lucky draw against Mofokeng and thus missed out on a bronze medal. The results were thus as follows in the Open section:

1st         S Mahalangu               2nd        I Valashia        3rd         D Maloba

Top 3 men (Maloba – Left; Mahlangu – Middle & Valashia – Right)


  • 6.    In the Ladies section there were the following rating favourites:

N Makamu (GTN) rated 1402

F Manyaka (HO) rated 1394

T Cox (EC) rated 1263 – Defending Champion

L Taunyane (NW) rated 1255

K Masilo (NC) rated 1230

Grace Netshimbubfe (GTN) rated 1194

B McMurtrie (WC) rated 1125 (Braille Chess Player and former Champion)

  • In the end the top 3 were:
1st Teresa Cox (EC) 8/9 (Won via direct encounter)
2nd Nkhesani Makamu (GTN) 8/9
3rd Kediemetse Masilo (NC) 7/9

Top 3 Ladies (Left – T Cox; Middle N Makhamu & Right – K Masilo)

8.  Dale Pon won the 2019 SAPS Blitz Championships and K Masilo was the top lady.

(Dale Pon – Blitz Champion 2019)


  • 9.    In the team event the favourites were Head office who was spearheaded by Dale Pon (Highest rated player) and consisted of players like Sipho Mahlangu (2019 Champion), David Maloba (2016 Champion & 2019 Bronze medallist) as well as 2019 SA Open B-section winner, Oupa Matloa.

The second favourites to win the championship were the defending champions, Free State with a very strong team which included the likes of V Seleka (1800 Fide rated), R Mofokeng (3 x National Champ), RW Boleme (Who has adult Main stream FS colours) and PJ Tlale, mother of WIM and Olympiad team member Tsephang Tlale.

  1. The other favourites in the running for a podium finish were the hosts Nothern Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape. You will note that WC does not have any big names or big ratings in the team but that they play very well together as a unit.

(Team Western Cape)


  1. 11. WC started off by beating LIM 9-5 however the first big upset came in round 2 when they thrashed defending champions FS 8.5 – 5.5. From round 3 to 5, WC ensured that they cashed in against the weaker teams increasing their match points as well as Game points.
  1. In round 6 the only two undefeated teams WC and HO squared off against each other. From this round onwards, The Arbiter, Oom Piet Van Zyl only allowed team captains to stay in the hall after finishing their games as we were now at the business end of the tournament.
  1. Both were playing one lady short for the round. WC faced a daunting task against HO but in the HO men proved too strong for the WC men, but that is when the WC ladies stepped up and won 5-0 from boards 9 to 13. The WC men lost 2-6 with T Janse van Vuuren beating Maloba on board two and R Johnson spectacularly beating S Nkuna on board 6. The final score being 7-6.
  1. WC was now in the clear lead on match points and game points and the Championships was now theirs to lose. In rounds 7 and 8, they beat GTN and EC (with the WC men coming through strongly against EC they sported the strongest women’s team in the competition) to clinch the Championship with one round to spare, as HO stumbled against hosts NC in round 8. Henry Arries from WC managed to beat Rico Schutte from EC on board 1 within 20 minutes of the start of the round and the rest of the WC Team fed off the energy of this result.
  1. The final results were as follows:
1st Western Cape 18 MP & 81 GP
2nd Free State 14 MP & 79.5 GP
3rd Head Office 14 MP & 73 GP

The hosts NC finished in a very credible 4th place and WC won the championships in style by beating all provinces competing in the competition. Congrats are in order. The trophy is back in Cape Town along with the trophy for best team spirit which was also awarded to


Team Western Cape.

The WC team psyched themselves up by going in singing and dancing into every round and by the time they reached their boards, their opponents were visibly nervous and probably trembling with fear. In some cases the opponents even took more than 5 minutes to make their first moves. The other teams started to join them during the second half of the team event. The total team spirit was off the charts!

3rd place – Head Office

2nd Place – Free State


National Champions 2019 & Best Team Spirit

(Team Western Cape)

16. The following Western Cape Players qualified for the National Team.

1 WO MG Petersen (m) B/Lavis
2 Cst R Blignaut (m) George
3 Sgt C Jurgens (f) Durbanville
4 Cst B Van Blerk (f) Railway / Diving
5 SAC Z Gabriels (m) Claremont
6 STO B McMurtrie (f) Goodwood
7 Sgt N Sithole-Mzulwini (f) Simons Town
8 SAC S Slippers (f) Vredenburg
  1. The SAPS National Chess Association visited two (2) primary schools around the Kimberley area as part of their social crime initiatives and donated ten (10) chess sets to each school. Chess coaching as well as motivational speeches were given relaying the motto: “Don’t be a fool, stay in school!”


Chess Development – Social crime prevention initiatives


  1. 18.  The 2019 championships as a whole was a big success. Mpumalanga will host in 2020.
  1. D/Cst Ryno Blignaut was also elected as the General Secretary for the SAPS National Chess Association for the next two years. Congratulations to him.

New General Secretary & 2019 Sportsman of the year nominee – Ryno Blignaut

  • Team WC won the following board prizes:

Board 2:T Janse Van Vuuren (Gold)

Board 4:R Blignaut (Silver)

Board 5:M Petersen (Silver)

Board 6:R Johnson (Silver)

Board 7:A Muizenheimer (Bronze)

Board 8:JP Jacobs (Bronze)

Board 10:    N Sithole (Silver)

Board 11:    B Van Blerk (Gold)

Board 12:    S Slippers (Bronze)

Board 13:    B McMurtrie (Gold)

*Dale Pon from HO took home the gold medal on board 1. *Board 14 was won by Vivian Manko.


Gala Evening (WC Ladies)

Gala Evening (WC Men)


Proudly Team Western Cape

  • For any further information kindly contact:



(Marc Petersen WC with RW Boleme FS)




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