South African Open in Cape Town

7/3/2007 – The South African Open, which takes place June 29 to July 6, 2007, is under way in Rondebosch Cape Town, with a field of 189 players. The tournament, organised by Chess Western Province has R 53,100 of prizes up for grabs. Play started during a typical Cape winter that has deluged the region with rainfall and blew everyone's hats off. Pictorial report.

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The South African Open 2007

By Ian Broughton

IMs Watu Kobese and Kenny Solomon are favourites to take the R10,000 (about US $1,450) first prize. The tournament is also a warm-up for the SA Olympiad teams who leave for Algeria this month for the All Africa games.

Standings after six rounds

Rnk Player Seed Elo Pts
1-2 Kobese, Watu
1
2425
1-2 Rubery, Mark
5
2308
3-6 Dole, Anant
16
1936 5
3-6 Mathe, Lehlogonolo
18
2042 5
3-6 Solomon, Kenneth
2
2342 5
3-6 Van den Heever, Donovan
3
2310 5
7-20 Bouah, Lyndon
11
2198
7-20 Brandsen, Jacobus
75
1671
7-20 Cruywagen, Christiaan
29
1534
7-20 Eichab, Charles
17
2125
7-20 Klaver, Cornelis
15
2017
7-20 Klaasen, Calvin
12
1983
7-20 Levitt, Mark
8
2266
7-20 Lewis, Mark
22
1901
7-20 Odendaal, Frederick
35
1936
7-20 Seotloadi, Thinto
24
1959
7-20 Solomon, Maxwell
13
2080
7-20 Steel, Sarel
9
2197
7-20 Steel, Henry
6
2178
7-20 Van Niekerk, Lourenzo
42
1889

The tournament started during a typical Cape winter that has deluged the region with rainfall and blew everyone's hats off. The Western Cape is a region steeped in history and features stunning mountains and beaches, winelands, fishing villages, and a vibrant nightlife It also also home to most of South Africas strongest chess players with Cape Town players occupying most of the places in the SA Olympiad teams.


A view of Devils Peak, part of the Table Mountain range, as seen from the
playing venue. Below is the University of Cape Town


Rain clouds gather over Cape Town city centre


A short drive from the venue brings one to the Rhodes Memorial

The Rhodes Memorial built in 1912 by Sir Herbert Baker in memory of Cecil John Rhodes, the mining magnate who made a fortune in gold and diamonds during the 1880s and 1890s. Rhodes was one of Britain's main empire builders and Premier of the Cape Colony.


Prior to the event the Western Province contingent of the SA Olympiad men’s and women’s team were treated to a breakfast by the Greenways Hotel

The hotel is classic example of historic Cape Dutch architecture unique to the region. It was formerly a private residence owned by a German doctor before being converted to a hotel by his daughter Susanna Faussner-Ringer.


Before chess clocks were invented...on the lawn of the hotel is a sun-dial dating back to 1703.


The SA Olympiad team members Donovan van den Heever (left) Henry Steel (3rd from left), IM Kenny Solomon (4th from left) with Sarel Steel and Mark Levitt of ChessCube (the sponsor who put R 53,100 in prizes)


Womens Olympiad players (from left): Jenine Ellapen, Anzel Solomons, Melissa Greef, team manager Janet Greef and Denise Frick


The fishing village of Kalk Bay

A half an hour's drive south from Cape Town brings one to the fishing village of Kalk Bay where fresh fish such as yellowtail and snoek, and lobster can be bought on the dock. Its name was derived from the Dutch term for lime. During the 17th century a small community of lime-burners used kilns to extract lime from sea shell deposits for use in construction. The Dutch East India used Kalk Bay as a mini-port and Kalk Bay also flourished as a fishing village and whaling station. In the 1840's a Philippine ship was wrecked off Cape Point and many of the sailors settled in Kalk Bay.


Long Street in Cape Town city centre is where many of the city's most popular clubs, restaurants and pubs are


Namibian champion Charles Eichab (centre) travelled down to play in the tournament


Donovon van Den Heever and Henry Steel

These are two of the Cape's strongest players, and both have their eyes set on achieving IM titles soon. Donovan is the winner of multiple Western Province closed and open tournaments and regular top ten finisher in the SA Open. Donovan will be representing 17-year-old Henry Steel is SA Junior Champion and is having a cracker of a year earning himself a place in the SA team for the first time.


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