September 2015

Chess in township schools is alive and well thanks to BEIER Industries. A few years ago, Mr. Hans Beier, the Chairman of Beier Industries was struck by the benefits of chess for young minds. These include developing strategic thinking, consequential thinking and problem solving skills. As a result of this, Beier Industries contracted a Chess Coach to teach chess in schools. The focus has increasingly been on schools within under-privileged areas.

Beier Industries recently put on their third annual chess tournament between the schools that participate in the programme. The tournament involved township schools from Kwa-Dabeka and Kwa-Santi. The Beier Industries Chess Coach and event co-ordinator, Mbongeni Sithole presided over the tournament. Sithole was advised that this was by far the biggest chess tournament ever to be hosted in the Clermont area.

The tournament was played over 5 rounds using the Swiss format. Each team was composed of 6 players. There were more than 70 players who participated on this event because some schools sent more than one team to represent them. The going was tough for the teams due to a high standard of competition. “After seven hours of chess, we eventually had our winners.” Sithole reported.

1st  Place Primary School – Bahlebonke Primary School from Kwa-Santi

2nd Place Primary School – Khuluqgame Primary School from KwaDabeka

Overall winners  – 1st  Sithokozile High School

“If we are to truly develop chess in townships, big chess tournaments like this one must be hosted there frequently,” Sithole commented.  “What Beier Industries is doing is making a real difference in the lives of the youngsters that are participating in the programme.

From the tournament, twelve participants were selected to represent PINETOWN SALGA games TRIALS at the UMLAZI INDOOR CENTER.

Sithole concluded, “It was a big event and a great event for the community. Such an event would never be possible without the support of the local community. Special thanks goes to the KK Chess Club chairperson Thandwa Dladla, to Joe Ncube of KK library and to S Nzama of Clermont Sports. All the coordinators from the schools that took part in this event must also be commended for their dedication.


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