This year Jessica surprised me by getting into chess (something that I myself used to do as a child way back when). Turns out that she has a teacher that’s really encouraging her to play, and despite Chantelle and myself still trying to favour the physical team sports at school for her, my firstborn now plays chess whenever she gets the chance. She even got to experience her very first ever chess tournament back in May, held at Rhenish Primary School in Stellenbosch on one nippy early Winter’s Saturday morning.

A chess tournament (or any tournament for that matter) is usually a bit daunting because of the sheer number of people involved, and this junior school tournament was certainly no different. The tournament is self sorting, aka, the first round everyone is randomly mixed (separated in age group rows though), and then with each subsequent round the stronger players match up against one another as the losing players get relegated to playing other losing kids and so forth.

There was a bit of a late start thanks to one of the schools arriving rather late, but other than that, the tournament was actually really well organized and I have to say that I walked away quite impressed with how things were done and communicated on the day. Make no mistake, it was a long day as a parent – basically you sit outside in the quad with all the other parents from morning to late afternoon – but the participating kids seemed to all have a right ball.

Although Jessica wasn’t able to secure a single win on the day, I was super impressed for how long she as a proper rank beginner was lasting in her matches – all her opponents really had to work hard for their wins! As the day began to draw to a close, I summoned Chantelle to join us in Stellenbosch for the last game or two, after which we treated my girl to some well deserved chocolate cake and hot chocolate at the local Bootlegger Coffee Company – aka the perfect end to a hard slog of a day for Jessica!

(Also, art appreciation because Stellenbosch makes it so easy to do!)

Related Link: Chess | Rhenish Primary | Stellenbosch