Disability Chess Champs – a First?


On 9 January 2018 CHESS SA made history by hosting the first ever South African Chess Championships for players with disabilities at Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg, Gauteng.

The tournament ran over 3 days where the players played a 7 round individual swiss format tournament.

Disabled players have been playing in chess leagues and tournaments for the past 7 years in Gauteng organised by teachers and with the help of Ekurhuleni Junior Chess, Tshwane Chess, Sedibeng Chess and the Gauteng Provincial Chess Body. Players were selected from school’s qualifier tournaments and play-offs.

During a CHESS SA Ordinary General Meeting held in September 2017 in Cape Town, a decision was taken by the CHESS SA Council that the time was right for a separate section for players with disabilities to be included in the SAJCC  in January 2018.

They were competing in three categories:

  1. Deaf/Hearing impaired – 25 players
  2. MID (Mildly Intellectually Disabled) – 33 players
  3. SID  (Sensory Integration Disorder) (Autism) – 13 players.

Players from the deaf or hearing impaired section hail from the following schools: MC Karbai School for the Deaf, St. Vincent School for the Deaf, Transoranje School for the Deaf, Ekurhuleni School for the Deaf, Dominican School for the Deaf and Philadelphia School for the Deaf.

MID (Mildly Intellectually Disabled) players are from Olympia Park School, New Hope School, Kempton Panorama School, Roodepark School, Gresswold School, Suiderberg School and Elandspark School.

The Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)(Autism) players are from Unica School for learners with Autism and Eureka Special School.  The players were assisted by teachers, coaches and translators/interpreters.  The tournament was sponsored by 4 Knights International Events Company and CHESS SA

“It has been a life changing experience for this exceptional group of young players.  We hope to include more players from across South Africa for the next edition of the tournament” according to Hendrik du Toit, the Tournament Director of the SAJCC

South African Junior Chess Championships 2017 for players with disabilities finished on 11 January with round 6 at 09H00 and round 7 at 12H00. The prize giving is at 15H00

Venue Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre Boksburg


Hendrik du Toit

Tournament Director SAJCC

Cell: 083 259 8747

Email: info@sajcc.co.za

Reint Dykema

Social media and photos

Media Liaison Officer

Cell: 082 898 0997