Reflections on Match Day Five ( 5) of the SA Closed 2019 by Dr Advocate Lyndon Bouah

  1. The women’s section is a tightly fought contest with a number of players in with a chance. There are a number of experienced players and numerous young pretenders who can certainly play a good game!!

2. Let’s have a look at the names on the trophy :

  1. 2000.   Michelle Minnaar
  • 2001. WIM Cecile Van Der Merwe
  • 2002 – Mignon Pretorius
  • 2003 – Mignon Pretorius
  • 2004  – Carmen De Jäger
  • 2005. – WIM Denise Frick
  • 2008. – Carmen De Jäger
  • 2013 – WIM Denise Frick
  • 2015 – WIM Denise Frick
  1. 2017. – WIM Jesse February
  • It is thus noted that at the beginning of the twentieth century the Ladies played a separate SA Closed and staged one event every year until it was combined with the Open section of the Closed. Many players have asked me why it is called the Open Closed. Well that’s because the Open is open to men and women whereas the women is only open to women!
  • And yes you read correctly that between 2008 and 2013 there were no SA Closed for

women. I am glad that this has now been corrected.

  • In 2005 WIM Cecile van Der Merwe became the first and thus far only women to play in the Open section of the Closed in 2005. Interestingly in 2005 WIM Marany Meyer played in the African Championships in the Open section. So quite a revolutionary year for women’s chess. WIM Meyer played for New Zealand at the 2014 Tromso Olympiad.
  • The first ever SA Ladies Open was held in 1975 and was won Wynie Robbertse from Pretoria. My understanding is that she won the championships three times. I will still profile these features later on.
  • South Africa sent its first women team to the chess Olympiad in 1998 to Elista. WIM Anzel Laubscher from that team is still playing.
  • WIM Denise Bouah (nee Frick) was part of the 2000 Olympiad team and still plays in WP.
  • South Africa also has a Woman grandmaster Melissa Greeff who is currently in Canada studying.
  1. In the last few years South African women chess have been very successful at the All African Games winning many medals for South Africa and was often competition for Algeria and later Egypt.
  1. South African score well at the zonals and in the last few years the zonals have been a gold mine for players obtaining titles.

2014 Denise Frick won in Namibia

2015 – no  SA Representation

2016 – Jesse February won in Mauritius

2017- Aleida De Bruyn won in Zambia

2018- Megan Van Niekerk won in Mozambique

2019 – no representation

  1. South Africa also fielded a women’s team at the World Team Championship in 2012 in Turkey. The team was Denise Frick, Anzel Laubscher, Cecile Van Der Merwe, Lauren Van Niekerk.
  1. South Africa has also won the African junior championship on a number of occasions. Here I remember Jenine Ellappen and Tsepang Tlale.
  1. So quite a rich history is South African women’s chess.

Let’s chat about the games for a moment.

Big upset in the Open Section. Micheal James beat Daniel Barrish in a nice game.

Ben Hercules beat Keith Khumalo.

Mohammed Bhawoodien played Paul Gluckman. Mo played a good game and beat Paul.

Kenny Solomon and Roland Bezuidenhout had a battle royal. They finally drew after many


Watu Kobese and Roberto De Breu had the spectators checking the boards with the imbalance of material. De Abreu had a queen while Watu had a knight and rook and a passed pawn. De Abreu was able to withstand the intense heat and took the pawn.

Klaasen and Pon drew in a 6.h3 Kings Indian. The position closed up and a draw was a honourable result.

In the Women section

Laubscher beat Grobbelaar after a speculative sacrifice on move four by Grobbelaar.

Nina Marais and Engelbrecht drew their game but I favoured Matais as she appeared to be a piece ahead at one stage.

Wolmarans  beat Joubert in a Well played endgame.

Robyn Van Niekerk and Jesse February drew their games.

In the Senior section Maxwell Solomon is continuing his imperious form by defeating Deon Pick.

Stephen Gallied beat Andrew Talmarkes. Stephen had a rook versus three connected pawns so the race was on.

Glenn Willenberg drew with Mark Lewis in this Steinitz derby.

The games can be viewed on


Dr Lyndon Bouah


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