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Moot chess learners shine at provincial level

Each of the teams competed against all other regions in the province.

Several Moot learners stole the show at the Gauteng inter-regional chess tournament this past weekend, picking up seven medals: six gold and one silver.

Six of the seven players attend Hoërskool Oos-Moot and the youngest, a nine-year-old, attends Laerskool Voorpos.

Chess coach and founder of Yes 4 Chess, Christiaan Linde said he hopes the victory will inspire other Moot children to take up the sport.

“I think it’s very important for people to know of this victory because Moot isn’t known for chess and that’s what we want for the area. We want to tell the world that we are good at chess and we love the game. I think it’s important for every child to try it. For their development, a game of chess won’t hurt,” he said.

Yes 4 Chess works closely with the Pretoria Chess Club, the oldest chess club in the country, and plans to open a training centre there this year.

Yes 4 Chess started in 2017 after Linde completed high school at Oos-Moot when he was asked by the chess organiser to coach the school’s players.

“I didn’t know how to but I said I would. Ever since, it’s been a passion for me, seven years in and we’re finally seeing the fruits of our labour,” he said.

Hoërskool Oos-Moot chess organiser, Andries Stolp expressed his appreciation for the achievement.

“The learners’ exceptional performance makes Hoërskool Oos-Moot, as well as these learners’ dedicated coach, Christiaan Linde, very proud,” Stolp said.

The learners had to participate in tournaments throughout 2023 to qualify for their respective provincial teams, which are organised by age.

Each of the teams competed against all other regions in the province.

Luke Marais. Photo: supplied

The youngest winner, Luke Marais (9) said that he is proud to represent the province in the “game of kings”.

“I’m very proud to be part of the provincial team. It is very hard work but there’s nothing more I enjoy than playing the game of kings,” Marais said.

Marais also said his favourite part of the game is the lunch box his mother packs for him every weekend and that he aims to achieve great things in the sport and would like to compete abroad one day.

“Upliftment and sportsmanship within our communities are vital in building successful adults. Thank you so much to Christiaan Linde and the Yes 4 Chess team for your dedication, especially within the Moot and a massive congratulations on your results at the inter-regionals. You make us proud,” said ward 54 councillor, Elma Nel.

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