More than 800 of the Commonwealth’s finest chess players are expected to meet in Port Elizabeth during July 2013 for the biggest money yet in a South African-hosted chess tournament.
The tournament – to be held between July 2 and July 14, 2013 – has already attracted some of the country’s top chess players to The Boardwalk Hotel and Convention Centre on the Port Elizabeth beach-front.
“It is the first time ever that South Africa’s top male player, Kenny Solomon, the country’s best female player Melissa Greeff and the South African Olympiad team will be playing at the same time in an international South African event on a sponsored basis,” says Dr Brian van Zyl, convener Commonwealth and South African Open Chess Championship 2013.
It will be the 19th prestigious Commonwealth Chess Championship 2013, and is open to chess players from any of the 54 Commonwealth member countries.
“We are honoured that The Boardwalk was chosen as the preferred venue in South Africa to host this prestigious international event,” says The Boardwalk general manager Clifford Ngakane.
“It will put the global spotlight on Nelson Mandela Bay. The hundreds of players and their support teams will create a mini boom for restaurants, hotels and Bed and Breakfasts for more than a week,” he says.
The tournament will be run concurrently with the South African Open Chess Championship, the Nelson Mandela Bay Open Chess Championship and the South African Open Blitz Chess Championship.
Prize money of R250 000 will “be spread over the largest number of recipients ever in South Africa,” says van Zyl.
The organisers are also making it possible for the largest possible number of young South African players to be at the tournament.
“This will be the first time ever in South Africa that 47 pick-up points nationally have been created to facilitate players and supporters’ travelling arrangements to Nelson Mandela Bay,”
“The local organising committee has already put plans in place to run a large development tournament in conjunction with the main event. The development tournament will expose more than 150 school pupils from previously disadvantaged communities to top level tournament chess and international level players,” he says.
According to van Zyl, South African currently has more than 35 000 registered tournament level chess players and hosted more than 1 200 individual chess tournaments in 2012.
In addition, the national junior chess championship is the largest event of its kind in the country and attracts more than 2 000 junior chess players from across the country.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2013/05/sas-richest-chess-tournament/