by Susan Polgar
The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elisabeth hosted the 2011 South African Junior Chess Championship. The colorful view of the 1,800+ players in one single tournament hall was quite impressive.
It was great to see the tremendous interest of chess in South Africa. Based on the enthusiasm I saw during my visit, I am quite positive that the popularity of the royal game will continue to grow in the future, also especially for girls.
Many thanks to my kind hosts in Port Elisabeth, especially to Mr. Marius van Zyl who worked (together with his team) tirelessly to make this gigantic size event the success it was. Although I had a very busy schedule during my trip, I left South Africa with a very memorable positive experience.
I would like to thank the co-sponsors of my visit, the Women’s Commission of FIDE, Chess South Africa and FIDE’s Trainer’s commission. Also special thanks to GM Estfratios Grivas and Martha Fierro for their help with the coordination of my lecture series.