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Chess aces on board

Of the 157 medals won by South Africa, an impressive 10 went to the chess players and we were one of only two countries to win medals in both the men’s and women’s team events.

The women’s team captured bronze in a round robin of seven games and the men captured silver in a nine-round Swiss. The breakdown of medals was┬á 8 individual medals and two team medals. Ladies won 4 bronze medals and two silver while the men won all silver.

Having lost to Botswana in round one the women’s team had to defeat Algeria, the number one rated women’s team in Africa in round four, to capture the bronze. Board One Monique Sischy captured South Africa’s 19th medal by scoring 6┬¢ out of nine in the blitz tournament, which was good enough for the bronze. Led by Board One Henry Steel and team captain Johannes Mabusela, the men team won eight out of nine matches to capture the silver.

They were bested only by Egypt. However, Steel’s fourth round knockout of Grandmaster and number one rated player, Egypt’s Ahmed Adly sent shockwaves through the tournament and spurred South Africa on to win the remaining matches.

Coach Jerald Times notes, ÔÇ£This is one of South Africa’s strongest men’s teams, not on paper but in performance. Boards 1, 3, 4 and 5 only lost once in a possible 28 games. They were unbeatable for eight rounds!ÔÇØ

The 10 medals tops South Africa’s last performance in the All African Games, which was nine.

Team South Africa’s medal break down:

Women (six medals)
Monique Sischy Bronze board 1
Anzel Solomons Bronze board 2
Ezet Roos Silver board 4
Denise Frick Silver board 5
Team Bronze
Monique Sischy Blitz Bronze

Men (four medals)
Henry Steel Silver board 1
Johannes Mabusela Silver board 4
Kgaugelo Mosetlhe Silver board 5
Team Silver


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