Checkmate for VG girlsDate Released: Tue, 7 May 2013 15:00 +0200
Patience, intellect, and logical thinking: words not commonly associated with sport - unless it is the game of chess.
The Victoria Girls' High School chess club has been running for more than 20 years and currently has about 35 members.
Girls between the ages of 13 and 18 meet once a week at the school for a mental duel or two.
“Chess is the most amazing game for kids to learn about concentration, spatial relation (which can be linked to maths) and it trains them in logical sequential thinking,” said Nicci Hayes, a teacher at the school, and the manager of the chess club.
Although there are about seven schools with chess clubs in Grahamstown, Nicci says the VG club mostly competes against the clubs from Hoerskool PJ Olivier, Victoria Girls' Primary School and Port Alfred High School.
Rhodes University also has a solid chess club and has played an integral role in the success of the VG club.
“Rhodes appoints one person a year to help us out. They have really made a commitment and because there are so few clubs to play against, they often invite us to open matches,” said Nicci, an avid chess player herself.
Sihovuyo Sibejele, a Grade 8 pupil who is a member of the club at VG, says she prefers chess to other sports.
“It challenges my brain and it is a lot more interesting than sport… I don’t like running,” she said.
Thus far, only two VG players have competed in tournaments outside Grahamstown, but Nicci said she hopes there will be Eastern Province players in the future.
The Commonwealth Open Chess Championship in Port Elizabeth in July will be an opportunity for the VG chess club members to learn some tips from top players.
By Mignon van Zyl
CHECK AND MATE... Sihovuyo Sibejele (left) and Anelisiwe Sakasa, Grade 8 pupils from Victoria Girls' High School, battle it out in a chess match at their weekly chess practice. Photo: Mignon van Zyl
Source: Grocott’s Mail