In Kimberley, kings and queens are battling for triumph on 64 squares…  this at the South African Open Chess Festival currently underway.

It’s touted as one of the biggest championships in South Africa.

Edward Büchner has been playing chess since he was 11-years-old. He says chess helps him to apply critical thinking in his daily activities.

“Chess teaches you good characteristics… I mean, it teaches you to make the right decisions; knowing what decision you make will have a big influence on what comes next. It teaches you not to be caught off guard, anything can happen… you should be prepared for the worst.”

Seventeen-year-old Ofentse Modirwa echoed similar sentiment.

“Chess means a lot to me. I’ve been playing chess since grade three… at the age of 11, and it keeps me going in difficult situations. It’s my way of handling things in life.”

Chief organiser, Warren Ahjum, wants chess to be introduced at all schools from foundation phase as it assists with mathematics and science.

“It has been proven that chess assists with mathematics and science. As Chess South Africa the Northern Cape, we’re busy in the process of drafting a document to present to government to have chess as a compulsory subject from foundation phase; which will greatly assist in future with maths and science. I know we have challenges in South Africa, specifically with those subjects.”

The ultimate winner will walk away R20 000 richer… fit for a king or queen.