The Boardwalk was the centre of tactical battle from 21 to 29 August 2016 when 320 young chess players from 15 countries competed in the 2016 African Youth Chess Championships.
This prestigious event was the biggest and most prestigious, in both participation and standards of play, since the inception of the African Youth Chess Championships. Rows and rows of checkered boards saw competitive chess players face their opponents throughout the week, with exciting wins, great team spirit and support for players. Often considered an uneventful sport, chess came to life as the young players battled it out for top titles at The Boardwalk.
The championships are held under the auspices of the African Chess Confederation (ACC) and Chess South Africa (CHESSA), and accredited by the World Chess Federation (Federation Internationale des Echecs, known as FIDE from its French acronym).
The event culminated on Monday, 29 August, when the winners in their respective categories were announced. The winners in each age group will qualify as Africa’s representatives at the 2017 World Youth Chess Championships in Montevideo, Uruguay for the Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 age groups; as well as the 2017 World Cadet Championships to be held in Brasilia, Brazil for the Under 8, Under 10 and Under 12 age groups.
The top titles awarded at the 2016 African Youth Chess Championships were:
- U12 Open section FIDE Master Title (FM) – Wassel Bousmaha (Algeria)
- U14 Open section FIDE Master Title (FM) – Samy Leffad (Algeria)
- U16 Open section FIDE Master Title (FM) – Keegan Agulhas (South Africa)
- U18 Girls section Woman International Master (WIM) – Inge Marx (South Africa)
- U18 Open section FIDE Master Title (FM) – Sifiso Ncube (Zimbabwe)
- U18 Open section FIDE Master Title (FM) – Jack van Zyl-Rudd (South Africa)
- U18 Open section International Master Title (IM) – Ahmed Nassr (Algeria)
“Seeing the dedication and determination of these young chess players has been an amazing experience and we are honoured to have hosted this event for the second year,” said Brett Hoppé, General Manager of The Boardwalk.
Earlier this month Hoppé said that The Boardwalk considers its involvement in chess as part of its commitment to uplifting and developing South Africa’s youth. “It is awesome to see the game of chess so relevant and alive amongst today’s young people. We want to help keep it this way,” he said.
Titus Chuene, the Marketing Manager at Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Board said: “This is the third time the city has hosted such a prestigious chess event, the first time being in 2013. Port Elizabeth’s selection as the African Youth Chess Championships for the second time attests to the capability and greatness of the city as a great events host and tourism destination. Another chess tournament is scheduled to take place in the destination towards the end of the year.”