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Local club to host ‘chess extravaganza’

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Dr Jabu Sithole Moja Chess Club president who is organising the Moja Chess Extravaganza set for Kimberley from 18 – 22 March this year. Picture: Supplied.

The tournament known as the ‘Moja Chess Extravaganza’ has been approved by the International Chess Federation and will be played under the auspices of the Northern Cape Chess Association.

KIMBERLEY’S Moja Chess Club is moving to stage the biggest ever tournament in the Northern Cape thus far. The tourney will feature five grand masters and is scheduled to take place at the Mittah Seperepere convention centre and the Garden Court hotel from March 18-22 this year.

Moja club’s president Dr Jabu Mokoena confirmed that among the five topline participants invited to the tournament is chess grandmaster and vice-president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Nigel Short.

“We are pleased to let you know we will be hosting one of the biggest chess tournaments ever held in the Northern Cape,” Mokoena said.

The other dignitaries and grandmasters due to attend the tournament include Amir Zaibi of Tunisia, Petr Kiriakov of Russia, Abdelrahman Hesham of Egypt and Shaj Grover of India.

The chief international arbiter for the tournament is Simbarashe Murimi of Zimbabwe while the zonal president Joe Mahomole of South Africa will also be in attendance.

Mokoena said the tournament known as the ‘Moja Chess Extravaganza’ has been approved by the International Chess Federation and will be played under the auspices of the Northern Cape Chess Association. The tournament will make use of the normal Swiss format of play.

Mokoena said: “We already have 148 (participants) registered and we estimate that the total number who may sign up for the tournament may exceed 250 players. The grand masters are from England, Egypt, Tunisia, India and Russia. Some of the players who have registered include some from Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Zambia.”

The tournament poster issued by Moja Club for this tournament indicates that there will be rewards in all five categories of competitors where the prize money for the lowest category will be R100 per entry.

The top prize money for that category is R1,000. The highest category entry prize is R1,200 while the top prize money in that group is R40,000.

Entries and enquiries may be made online or at club level. Entries for the tournament close on March 17.

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