Chess Tour to Grey, Bloem
The Grey College Invitation Chess Tournament is a prestigious inter-provincial event that is well represented by Gauteng Province, Cape Province, Free State and Kwa- Zulu Natal. This 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:
In the A Section: Team A consisted of Naseem Essa, Sashen Pather, Cayden Pather and Thirushan Pather.
Team B was Sridhar Chandraduth, Shivaan Devpruth, Yadhav Gokool and Viseshan Govender.
In the B Section: Team C consisted of Milind Bandulal, Thiyashan Pillay, Sharik Ramjee and Siyanda Myeni.
Team D was Sphelele Mtombela, Jonathan Slomczinski and Ndaba Bongamandla and Shriyan Bodasing.
Thursday 22 February:
At 09h00 we left for Bloemfontein amidst much excitement and anticipation of the long journey ahead of us.
We stopped at Van Reenen’s Pass to visit the World’s smallest church and to stretch our legs a bit. The learners were fascinated at the size of the church and took many photos.
By the time we approached Montrose we were all looking forward to a meal. Alas this was not to be. Montrose staff were on strike! The empty tummies only got filled in Bethlehem. Fortunately the journey was made really bearable due to the massive clouds. Needless to say there was no sign of the rain that was predicted.
At 5pm we reached Die Rusplek, our home for the next 3 days. 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 23 February:
After a scrumptious full Afrikaner breakfast, which included the most divine farmhouse boerewors, we made our way to Naval Hill, as the first half of the day was leisure time. What an experience! The magnificent view and the gigantic bronze statue of Nelson Mandela ensured stunning photos were taken.
Thereafter a 2km or thereabouts walk around the hill took us to the site of the Environmental Centre as well as the Planetarium. We were fortunate enough to spot Blesbok, wildebeest, ostrich, and zebra.
Armed with their pens, clocks and notation booklets, our players started Round 1 of the tournament at 2pm that sunny afternoon.
Team A were devastated when they discovered that their first opponent was Prestige High School. Putting on a brave face, they went into battle and managed to survive with a draw. At the end of 2 rounds Team A & B had 6 points each, Team C 4½ and Team D 3.
After a long exhausting day which ended at 9pm, it was a quick stop for more refreshments and off to bed.
Saturday 24 February:
Highly refreshed, and our tummies filled with once more with a hearty breakfast we were determined to make the day more positive. Day 2 of the tournament commence at 8:30am. Our school was paired with Waterkloof the top contenders. It was a tough, trying day for all the players. It was a case of we win some and lose some. Our opponents had to fight hard for their points as our boys refused to give up. The final round ended at 16H00. TEAM A were placed 4th and TEAM C were placed 8th in the tournament. All the winners received a gift package sponsored by Tibb health sciences.
Our top scorers in the tournament were from Naseem Essa, Thirushan Pather, and Jonathan Slomczinskiwho who each scored 4 out of 5points.
Congratulations to all the boys who participated.
M-i-C : Chess