Tuesday, 25 July 2017

SA Schools Winter Games

The South African Schools Championships took place in Durban for the second year in a row. The Winter Games is an event organised annually by the Departments of Sport and Recreation, together with Basic Education. There were over 2 000 participants from all over South Africa, taking part in sports such as soccer, rugby and volleyball, as well as the more intellectual game of chess.

Play commenced at Brettenwood High School on Monday 10th July and finished after 7 rounds of hard fought chess on Thursday 13th July 2017. Here is what the school hall looked like at the start of play on Monday, and when the hall was set up for the prizegiving:

There were no under 13 chess players this time, which reduced the numbers to 252 players. Each province had a team of 28 players, split equally between the under 15 and under 18 age groups, with separate boys and girls teams. Only the top 6 scores were added together to get the team rankings. The top seeded teams in each group were Gauteng and Western Cape. These two teams dominated the field, with Western Cape eventually taking all the team gold medals, and Gauteng all the team silver medals. Here is a photo of the gold medal winning squad from Western Province:

The contest for the bronze medals was extremely close, with Mpumalanga (u15 boys), Eastern Cape (u15 girls), Free State (u18 boys) and KwaZulu-Natal (u18 girls) all taking home medals. Possibly the most under-rated team was that from Mpumalanga, who won more than their share of medals in the rating categories. Team KZN were close to the medals in all age groups and can be pleased with their overall result:

Results were published daily on chess-results.com so I have only given the team rankings below:
under 15 boysunder 15 girlsunder 18 boys, and under 18 boys.

Thanks to Leon de Jager for supplying all the photos, and to all the organising team who helped make this event a success.