"My opponent left a glass of whisky 'en prise' and I took it 'en passant". - Henry Blackburne | SINCE 2007

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Border Chess Team Prepares To Conquer South Africa

By Atule Joka

BORDER Chess all divisions’ team looks set to be a team to beat at this year’s South African Junior Chess Championships to be held in December, in Pretoria.
The squad which consists of “approximately 70 players” according to their head coach Sven Stocklose, is undergoing meticulous training in various schools around East London. “Besides the two coaching sessions we have for each division every month, we have also lined up inter-provincial games against Eastern Province (EP) in October ahead of the tournament” said Stocklose.
The Border team did not fare well at last year’s tournament and their only highlight was the U/8 team who managed to finish eighth .
“This was the best considering the division they competed in, our U18’s managed to secure a silver medal but it was in the lower division” said Stocklose. Despite a multiple of senior teams in the squad it is surprisingly the U/10s that carry the burden of winning the coveted gold medal.
“I’m optimistic they could bring us the gold, they have matured and are playing the best chess of their lives”, said Stocklose of the team that mostly featured last year’s U/8 players.
Among Stocklose objectives for this year’s tournament is to see more players selected to the national squad. “I am optimistic we will perform better this year, but it will be great to have more of our players having South African colours”.
Rebecca Selkirk, who became the first Border player to receive national junior colours last year, and eventually went to represent South Africa at the Commonwealth Chess Tournament in Delhi, India, is expected to be a key member of the squad .
“Rebecca has participated in a number of international tournaments her experience will spur on the rest of the team and hopefully she will do well in team matches and will hold her own in individual matches” added Stocklose.

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