South African boy draws with Kasparov

26 March 2012

Eleven-year-old schoolboy Daniel Barrish held former world chess champion Garry Kasparov to a draw during a series of matches played in Khayelitsha, Cape Town on Friday to mark the launch of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa, in collaboration with local organisation Moves for Life.

Barrish was one of 26 South African players who took on the Russian grandmaster in simultaneous chess matches at the OR Tambo Stadium in Khayelitsha. Three hours later, their match ended in a draw.

“I was very happy that I was going to play him, even more that I drew with him,” Barrish told the Cape Times afterwards from his home in Constantia.

‘He made a couple of mistakes’

“He made a couple of mistakes, he was moving too fast and I capitalised,” said Barrish, who has won the African chess under-10 championship and is the youngest member of South Africa’s national chess team. “He had to fight for a draw.”

Later in the day, Kasparov met South African President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria. Zuma is the patron of Moves for Life, an organisation that uses chess to promote maths and science education among underprivileged children.

Speaking after their meeting, Zuma said chess should be encouraged among children, as the game would help them do better at school.

Chess as an educational tool

“It is so important for young people, particularly at schools, as an educational tool,” the South African Press Association (Sapa) quoted Zuma as saying.

According to Sapa, Kasparov said the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa would be based in Johannesburg and from there would promote its programmes throughout the continent.

“I have very high expectations about our goals set for South Africa and the neighbouring countries,” Kasparov said.

SAinfo reporter