Commonwealth Chess Championships 2011 Print
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 06:28


The Deputy Minister of Sport, Ministry of Sport and other Government representatives, members of the Gauteng Provincial Government, representatives of the City of Ekurhuleni administration, President of Chess South Africa (CHESSA), Council and Executive members of CHESSA, members and representatives of the Commonwealth Chess Association, members of the Organising Committee of the 2011 Commonwealth and South African Open Chess Championships, participants, distinguished invited guests, ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) I wish to welcome all participants and officials to the 2011 Commonwealth and South African Chess Championships.

The South African Chess Federation, CHESSA is by far the most active African member of FIDE. We, at FIDE, take note of the leadership role South Africa is playing in the development of chess on the African continent.

The strength and resilience of any structure or programme is measured by the strength and firmness of its foundation.

This is the same with chess. The foundation for the development of chess in any federation is the chess in schools programme.

The bedrock provided by schools and youth chess developmental activities and programmes creates a chain of resource channels such as pools for future celebrated players as well as trainers, administrators and other pillars dedicated to enhancing the popularity and effectiveness of chess as an educational tool.

In this regard I am pleased to note the structure of the Commonwealth Championships where special sections for youth and developing players have been adequately provided for.

In welcoming all of you let me make special mention of the appreciation which FIDE places on the support of the South African State President, His Excellency Mr. Jacob Zuma to the development of chess not only in South African but throughout the region.

Special mention is made to the sponsors of the 2011 Commonwealth and South African Open Championships who have made a tremendous contribution to the development of chess by their generosity.

I would also like to pay tribute to the support of the South African Government and the entire business community for their continued support to chess.

The President of CHESSA, Mrs. Emelia Ellappen also deserves special mention for the way she has continued to fight for support for chess not only in South Africa, but on the entire African continent. In her capacity as Deputy President of the African Chess Union she has made a strong case to FIDE for expanded support for resources for youth, women and disadvantaged groups in addition to the current provisions.

Let me also pay tribute to the support given by Grandmaster Nigel Short to the development of the Commonwealth Chess Association. As past president and the top seed in the current championships, his presence here lends valued support to the organisers and participants.

I wish all of you a successful tournament in both playing and the making new friends and acquaintances.


FIDE Vice President Lewis Ncube and President of Chess South Africa, Emelia Ellappen


Playing Hall


Some of the participants

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