The Coega Development Corporation’s (CDC) commitment to the development of “strategic young minds has secured a place for two young chess teams from the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal at this year’s Commonwealth Chess Tournament.
The CDC’s move forms part of its corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives – and the development of critical skills for future leaders.
Chess development in African communities is one of nine pre-identified Coega CSI programmes. “There are a number of benefits to playing chess, particularly for the youth,” said Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communications, explaining the company’s endorsement of both an 80 member team from Nelson Mandela Bay and its support of 10 members from the Jacob Zuma (JZ) Chess Team from Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.
“There are significant cognitive and intellectual benefits, including complex thinking which the youth need to meet the challenges of modern life. Chess helps with the development of analytical, synthetic and decision-making skills while also enhancing higher-order thinking and helping young people literally look before they leap by analysing actions and consequences and visualizing future possibilities and outcomes.”
Other benefits, Vilakazi believes, include motivation to become willing problem solvers and logical thinkers, facilitating insight into the nature of competition and the ability to recognise complex mental patterns.
“There are also a number of critical social benefits such as the development of self-esteem, confidence and respect for self and