24 December 2010
Quick thinking was the order of the day at the recent Moves for Life chess tournament in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. Moves for Life patron Jacob Zuma was in attendance, squaring off against some formidable youngsters – and planning the next move in taking the game to even more South Africans.
South African President Jacob Zuma, whose love for the game of strategy is well-known, had a trick or two to show the smart kids at Wednesday’s tournament.
The participants came from all over KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng province. Among those in attendance were international master Watu Kobese and South African champion Kgaogelo Mosetle.
Moves for Life met with Zuma at his house in Nkandla this week to plan their next move in taking the game that teaches logic and problem-solving skills to even more South African children.
According to its website, Moves for Life helps to unlock people’s potential through exposure to the game of chess, with its unique features enabling an innovative, structured programme for chess education from the lowest grades up.
“The basic analytical functions required to play chess are of the same nature as the brain functions required to tackle subjects such as maths and science,” says Moves for Life. “Chess training, at any level of competence, helps people to tackle logic-based problems like those found in maths and science.”
Reaching out to more places
The Moves for Life tournament is in its second year, and there are plans to make it even bigger.
“The President wants us to reach out to more places, particularly where there are previously disadvantaged people,” tournament organiser Sandile Xulu told BuaNews. “Next year, we plan to move to other rural areas because people want us to, and the response has been great.”
Moves for Life will also partner with KwaZulu Chess, co-founded by President Zuma, to roll out a chess programme for schools from February.
Ten schools in KwaZulu-Natal, including schools in Nkandla and Richards Bay, will be among the first targeted. Xulu said they hoped to reach still more schools in the near future.