A week-long national chess championship is taking place in Bloemfontein. Players from countries such as India, Botswana and Zambia will also be participating.

Over 300 chess minds will test their wits against one another during the tournament.

The game requires logic and a great deal of discipline among players. Acting president of Chess SA, Joe Mahomole, says the game is important in helping develop young minds. Mahomole says the game assists the learners to plan and solve problems.

“So SA Open as a tournament its one of the flagship programmes or tournaments for the Chess SA, as a national controlling body. South African Open is to chess like your SA open in tennis, I can put it like that way, golf or any other  sport. So for us this ins one of the pinnacale tournament that we have and we’re quite happy to have it here in Bloemfontein.”

One of those taking part in the tournament is International Master, Daniel Cawdery,from South Africa, who is also sharpening his World Chess Olympiad before going to Georgia in the USA later in September.

“I basically started when I was 3 years old my dad taught me and ever since then I progressed at a rapid level due to my passion for the game and my work ethics. I think chess provides a lot for especially youngsters with problem decision making skills an just generally facts that are happening in life. So I think chess also helps with mathematics, science it helps you to approach problem in a unique way an come to a solution.”

Meanwhile, Gand Master from Dehli in India, Sahaj Grover, says he started the game when he was only four years old. And since then he’s never looked back.

“And both my dad an my brother started teaching me chess, they taught me the rules how to play an all that stuff. And after that they made me play a tournament a university event and I was four- years-old and I scored two points out of five which was a very big deal. And after that the coaches in my city in Dehli started telling my parents that I must continue playing chess professionally – because I have a talent for it and since then I have been playing as much as I can because I have very big love for chess and I think it will continue to be.”