News from 2020 to 2023

The Pandemic Years

All Durban Chess Club activities were suspended in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The chairman and his committee all decided to quit during the pandemic years, without holding a general meeting to report on their 2020 term of office. The chairman also failed to organise an election for a new committee. This meeting could have been held online, but that did not happen. As a result, the club ceased to operate and was only able to be revived at the end of 2023.

The National Library of Australia has scanned a large number of old newspapers, which can be found at the Trove website. They ran OCR on the images to make the website searchable. The index is not perfect, but I was still able to find lots of news from the early days of the Durban Chess Club. Apparently the Australians liked to reprint chess items from Border's column in the Natal Mercury, which included problems and news from the Durban Chess Club! I have transcribed some of these game scores for my pages on Durban champions. Researching online like this is much easier than trying to read the battered microfilm at the Durban Reference Library.

I was interviewed in 2020 by Lyndon Bouah on the Calvin Klaasen chess channel. Calvin and Lyndon have been producing the "Reflections" series of interviews on Tuesday nights from early September and they are well worth watching, with a wide range of South African chess personalities as guests. Go to the Calvin Klassen Chess channel on Twitch TV to see the interview with myself. You can skip the first 5 minutes where we were checking that everything was working. I went through 3 of my games in the middle of the show, and here is a link to the games discussed on the show. The show lasted just over an hour.

In the early days of the pandemic, with over-the-board chess no longer being played, chess players all over the world switched to online chess instead. Riccardo Benedetti formed a group for Durbanites to engage each other in online chess activities, which was later administered by Devon Govender and Henry Oliver. The process was to first join lichess then apply to join the "Durban Online Chess" team. Detailed results and games from online DOC events can be found at the DOC events page.

Former DCC champion Nashlen Govindasamy was studying at Oxford University in 2020 and took part in the annual Oxford vs Cambridge match, held on 7th March 2020. Here is a link to an article by John Saunders about the match. I was interested to see that Nashlen played on board 6 (game here) and was awarded the best game prize (a painting) for his effort.

GERALD BOULLE article updated
I have added commentary on the games of Gerald Boulle, who was an 8-times DCC champion, and 7-times Natal champion.

The 2020 Moss Kolnik was won by Jorah Soojay. Here are the results.

The annual junior team championships took place in Boksburg in January 2020. Most districts sent a team to the event which was dominated by Tshwane and Western Province as usual. One of the three gold medals that got away from them went to the Ethekwini under 18 team! The other 2 medals went to Johannesburg Metro in the under 8 and under 10 age groups. Metro scored an astonishing number of points in the under 10, with +66 -1 =3 in games. Surely a new record? Can Metro keep this team together for future years?

See under 18 results here with links available to the other age groups. Two DCC members in the under 18 team got medals: Naseem Essa (gold, board 1) and Chad Millard (silver on tiebreak, board 7). Other DCC members who won board medals were Charlotte Millard (gold, bd 2, u14), Jorah Soojay (gold, bd 1, u12) and Nanditha Pillai (silver, bd 4, u12).

Several members of DCC took part in the African Youth Championships which were held in Windhoek in December. Jorah Soojay won the bronze medal in the under 12 open section, and the South African team as a whole won 10 medals. Here is a link to the results of the South African team. Jorah had a nice win (game here) against the top seed from Egypt.

For previous news stories about DCC refer to my News Archive, which contains links to previous news stories going back to 2004.