Chess Tour to Grey Bloem

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The Grey College Invitation Chess Tournament is a rated Swiss team tournament of 5 rounds held in 2 sections. Each round is 2 hours in duration- each player gets 1 hour to conquer his opponent’s king.
The following 16 learners participated in the Grey College Invitational Chess tournament:
Rylan Naicker, Yadhav Gokool, Sridhar Chandraduth, Shivaan Devpruth, Thirushan Pather, Viseshan Govender, Keshlan Pather, Jonathan Slomezinski, Shayur Mungal, Koval Woolaganathan, Bongamandla Ndaba, Matthew Delderfield, Sitesh Ramessur, Siyanda Myeni, Dashyam Govender, Sphelele Mtombela
Thursday 16 February- at 08h00 we left for Bloemfontein amidst much excitement especially our Grade 8 learners, who had never gone out of the province on tour before.
The 10 hour journey was not something the seasoned travellers were looking forward to. The first stop at Montrose was very welcome and soon the empty tummies were filled. The unbearably hot and dry climate from here on did nothing to prepare us for the “Vrystaat warmte!” Thank goodness for the AC aboard the sprinter. At last we reached our B&B; “Hide Park Lodge” at about 18H00. After checking in and a quick shower and change (for most of us at least), we went in search of some food. The stadium Food Court was going to see much of us for the next 2 days.
Friday 17 February – after scrumptious full English breakfast, the boys had a few hours leisure and then we made our way to Grey College for Day 1 of the tournament.
Armed with their pens, notation books and clocks the battle began. 74 teams fought the battle for the top three positions. Our Grade 8s and Matthew seemed shell shocked by the magnitude of the tournament as well as the standard of chess played. Day 1 was a good start for the boys with only the C Team losing their round.
After dinner the next round was played at 19h00 and ended at 21h00. Again our boys fared really well with the unfortunate C Team losing all 4 matches. I felt sorry for them as they were so unfortunate in being paired against the really top schools in the country. Perhaps tomorrow will be much better.
A quick stop at the Food court to console the poor souls and it was off to bed for some much needed sleep.
Saturday 18 February – highly refreshed, our tummies filled with a good and tasty breakfast and determined to make today better we headed off to Grey College for Day 2 of the tournament. Round 3 started at 08h45 due to a computer glitch that botched up the pairings. Alas today was not a good day for most of the boys. The opponents were far stronger and the standard of Chess was far higher than our boys are used to. The final round ended at 17h00.
Final Results:
A Team 18th
B Team 31st
C Team 36th
D Team 11th
Our Top scores in the tournament were Rylan Naicker and Sphele Mtombela who each scored 4 out of 5 points.
Congratulations to all the boys who participated. Considering the calibre of the competitors, I believe our boys performed really well.
Mrs Nagiah
M-i-C : Chess


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