The Inaugural Hermanus Chess Club Open – 2023

The Inaugural Hermanus Chess Club Open was held on the 22nd of April at Curro Hermanus. This was the first ever event of such scale organized by the Hermanus Chess Club. A total of 243 players participated, representing 5 of the 6 regions in the Western Cape. With a combined prize fund of over R30000, the competition was tough.

The tournament was split into three sections: A, B and C. Players were entered into each section according to their Chess SA rating. Participants ranged from beginners to seasoned professionals, creating a diverse and challenging playing experience. We saw several titled players competing in the A section, including IM Yovann Gatineau from France, and IM Jan Karsen (South Africa’s youngest ever International Master). The level of competition was high, requiring players to think strategically and make quick decisions to outwit their opponents. The tournament format was a 6 round swiss, with a rapid time control of 20 minutes per side, with a 5 second increment per move.

For those wondering, the Swiss pairing system ensures that players of similar strengths are paired against each other. This creates a fair and competitive environment for all participants, regardless of their skill level.

Board 1 of the A section

In addition to the competitive aspect of the tournament, there was also a strong social element. Participants interacted and made new friends, sharing their experiences and knowledge of the game. This fostered a sense of community among players and helps to promote the game of chess to a wider audience.

We have received a lot of praise from various players, parents and supporters, lauding that the tournament was well-organized and professionally run, with strict adherence to the rules and regulations of the game.

Upsets in the A Section

CM Kenneth Willenberg was the only player able to defeat IM Yovann Gatineau from France. Watch the full video on our youtube channel, or view the game below.

Game: https://lichess.org/study/7FG5OCf8/6owoeSmh

Results

After a tiring six rounds, the results are as follows:

A Section

  • First Place – Tezihano Mnyasta (R10000)
  • Second Place – Reegan Palmer (R5000)
  • Third Place – Warrick Erlank (R2500)
  • Best Female – WIM Annika du Plessis (R1250)

B Section

  • First Place – Ayabonga Mchontsi (R5000)
  • Second Place – Remi Mostert (R2500)
  • Third Place – Gabriel Swartbooi (R1250)
  • Best Female – Takudzwa Chiriya (R750)

C Section

  • First Place – Mason Stern (R2500)
  • Second Place – Milibo Mfundisi (R1250)
  • Third Place – Ukho Mfenyana (R500)
  • Best Female – Morgan Linde (R500)
Prize Winners (Absent: Remi Mostert)

To all of the organizers, thank you for putting together such a well-organized and smoothly-run event. Your hard work ensured that everything ran like clockwork and allowed everyone to focus on the game at hand.

To the participants, thank you for bringing your A-game and making the tournament such a competitive and thrilling event. It was a true pleasure to have such talented and passionate players. Your enthusiasm and sportsmanship made the experience all the more enjoyable and memorable.

We hope to see everyone back in Hermanus next year for our Hermanus Open 2024.


Sources:
A Section – https://chess-results.com/tnr755617.aspx?lan=1
B Section – https://chess-results.com/tnr755618.aspx?lan=1
C Section – https://chess-results.com/tnr755619.aspx?lan=1

Photo Credits:
Barbara Hayn – The Village News
Inga Mfundisi – Ekuphumleni Empowerment