Chess Western Province League 2019 Reflections 2 by Dr Lyndon Bouah


The 2019 Chess Western Province league kicked off on Saturday 27 July 2019 at a jam packed Proteaville Recreation Centre in Bellville South. The league is possibly the biggest chess city league in Africa and is a veritable challenger for one of the biggest leagues in the world. We will revisit the statistics at the end of this report.

The league opened as per tradition with the traditional opening move. Mayco member for the City Councillor Rochelle Viljoen made an opening speech. The City of Cape Town is committed to the promotion of sport and recreation and has made their venues available at very little cost for the duration of the league. Mr Thabo Tutu, Director Sport Promotion for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport also made an opening speech and reminded the audience that chess is a priority code in South Africa and that he is impressed with the large number of players.

  1. Let’s start our review with the E division.

Blackjacks C beat Blackjacks 3.5-05. This was a home derby but it’s great that the players from Elsies River are having so many teams!

Simons Town Military B beat Stellenbosch 4-0. It’s great that the army guys are involved as it will strengthen their chess and enhances the league.

On third board Crossroads D beat African Lounge C.

On the fourth match board We think Code drew 2-2 with Aurecon.

There are also teams playing from Drakenstein, Kraaifontein and Stellebosch. The E division played three rounds yesterday as their tempo is somewhat faster. In terms of the statistics of the first day:

2. Analysis of the D Division

Two rounds were held in this division on Saturday. The players play over 6 boards. Interesting results was that Bellville D beat Bellville C!No love lost there! Kraaifontein B beat Steinitz D 6-0! A Federer type start for Kraaifontein! Drakenstein Dragons beat their neighbours Stellenbosch D 5-1 Crossroads B also opened with a good win against Observatory B

Steinitz D is fielding a team with many young female players which augur well for the future of women’s chess! !!

The final ranking crosstable after two rounds reveals that Kraaifontein B, UCT C and Drakenstein Dragons A will be pushing for promotion!

3. Analysis of C division

The early running is being made by Kraaifontein A. They are a good team with the likes of Edwin November in their ranks and are sure to challenge for honours. African Chess Lounge and UWC B however will not let them run away however so expect some fireworks in this section.

4. Analysis of the B Section

Elsies River is signalling its intention with a solid 10/12 points in the first two rounds. Hot on their heels is however Crossroads. Crossroads wishes to follow in the footsteps of MRL and African chess lounge/ Chesscube who started in the bottom division and then proceeded to be promoted every year to finally secure a place in the Premier. I will focus next week on this division.

5. Analysis of the Premier Section

The Premier section is of course the pride and joy of the Chess Western Province league. All the top players that reside in Cape Town participate for their respective clubs and all the games are hard fought. There are no easy games and of course no quarter is asked or given! Let’s zoom in on the first round!

African Chess Lounge beat UCT 5-3. It is pleasing to see both Darling brothers playing. Paul is a solid 2038 and his brother is pushing hard.

Belhar Knights fielded an incomplete team and suffered an 8-0 whitewash against Stellenbosch. I am

sure they will bounce back next weekend as they fight to stay up in the Premier….

Steinitz beat Bellville 6-2 which was the same result as last year. Hard fought games but for me the game between Craig Willenberg against David Baxter was magic and had a knight sacrifice against an uncastled king!

I played hard against Benny Levin. I first played Benny back in February 1992 and our battles are still hard! Thanks for the game Benny! He had chances but I took mine first!

In the match between MRL and Blackjacks MRL took the points home with 6.5 against 1.5. I am sure that advocate Maxwell Solomon will not have been pleased to be placed under the surgical scalpel of Dr Baloyi. Dr Baloyi has been playing strongly in all his events and was recently married so there is an extra spring in his step!

Cape Town and Mitchells Plain (both former champions) played to a 4-4 draw in their match. I noticed a Willenberg playing for Mitchells Plain! Mitchells Plain was promoted from the B division and has done some recruitment.

Manyanani assembled a top team and beat Grassy Park who is having their fortieth anniversary year 6.5 to 1.5. Grassy Park scored three draws. So it will be tough for the GPCA this year.

In the afternoon round:

UCT scored a big victory with their victory against Manyanani (2017 SA Club champions) when they won 5.5 against 2.5. Paul Darling held Donovan Van Den Heever to a draw which is an excellent result and brother Simone beat FM Shabier Bhawoodien). Hisham Essop beat SA over 65 champion Gordon Lawrence. That was quite a result for UCT who first played in the league in 1922 and won the unified league in 1992 when it started and then again in 2010.

GPCA bounced back strongly and beat Mitchells Plain 5-3. A good victory because these results will come in handy in later rounds.

MRL won again with 6.5 to 1.5. Spearheaded by SA Closed Co-Champion Calvin Klaasen they will be a hard nut to crack and I noted that the recruitment drive spread to the West Coast ( Jacques Basson) and Eden ( George Loverlot) the two Van Niekerk sisters ( Megan is of course the 2018 zonal champion and sister Robyn has represented South Africa at Olympiad level.

Steinitz beat Blackjacks 6.5 to 1.5 . This was an important match as the two teams squared last year with 4-4 and Blackjacks has the potential to beat any team.

Stellenbosch beat Bellville 6-2 with the surprise being Schutte’s win against Professor Stefan Wagner on board one.

African Chess Lounge recorded a 7-1 victory against Belhar Knights who needed to field players on all boards to ensure that they put up a good fight to stave relegation.

Let’s look at the standings:

Stellenbosch leads by virtue of the 8-0 against Belmar Knights.

MRL lies second followed by Steinitz and African Chess Lounge.

It is early days and all these teams played lower rated teams. So the key is to be consistent and that’s the key for all teams.

I end off with some observations:

  1. I saw my friends from School days Samuel Leenderts (Kraaifontein and Ian Eley (Mitchells Plain). Leenderts is a teacher and Ian worked for the navy.

2.    The arbiters were working hard sorting out the record number of teams!!

3.    Megan and Robyn Van Niekerk with Dr. WIM Denise Bouah

4.    MRL Recruits George Loverlot and Jacques Basson

5.    The UCT team will be a force to be reckoned with

6.    The young Turks of Steinitz!

7.    The older guard of Steinitz!

8.    Steinitz D Team!

9.    Duke Simons against Olympian Rebecca Selkirk

10. Councillor and Thabo Tutu

11. Proudly Steinitz!


Dr Lyndon Bouah.


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