THE inaugural Interschools Chessathon 24 drew a spectrum of talent from eight top Eastern Cape schools at Alexander Road last weekend.
In a period of two days, 33 players engaged in an epic challenge to complete a spate of 24 hours of continuous chess – a total of 22 completed the challenge, showing commitment and dedication right to the end.
The Chessathon 24’s vision was to create a fundraising platform for chess clubs at schools in the Eastern Cape.
The aim was for them to provide sponsorship to previously disadvantaged communities to compete in the annual Alexander Road High School Interschools Chess Championships, as well as to assist in setting up a firm foundation for the growth of chess in these schools.
In a riveting display of simultaneous chess, chess guru Sven Stocklose dominated 99% of his 33 players.
Simultaneous format involves a single player taking on all tournament players at the same time.
Other formats of the game played were blitz, atomic and doubles, plus other impromptu variants with the grand finale culminating in a blitz round-robin of 17 rounds.
Stocklose moved from one discipline of the game to the next with ease. Category prize winners were: simultaneous: Gerald Wagner; doubles: Timothy Niven (Lorraine Primary) and Marco de Franca (Alex); blitz round-robin: Wian Schutte (Lorraine).
The special award of a wooden chess set was won by Keanu Wagner (Alex) in the final lucky draw.
Special mention must also go to Westering Grade 7 pupil Rekash Naidoo, who brought in over R1 500 in sponsors for his school’s chess club.
Accolades also go to youngest contestant Tyler Niven, a Grade 3 Lorraine pupil who has represented EP since the age of six and is now playing EP U10.