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Alex makes his move in India

Alexander van der Merwe, a Grade 8 learner at Paul Roos Gymnasium, participated in the 2019 Commonwealth Chess Championship in Delhi, India this month.

It was the third time Alex had qualified for this prestigious event, although just the second time he participated in it. In 2018, he chose to play in the World Youth Chess Championship in Greece over the Commonwealth in India.

Alex qualified to represent Chessa (Chess South Africa) in the u-14 section as a result of his performance in the South African Junior Closed Championship in April 2019 (SA Junior Chess trails). However, he made the courageous move to play in the Open Section. This is the championship category, and does not have an age or rating restriction, so Alex was privileged to rub shoulders with seven grand masters participating in this international tournament.

Alex was ranked 81st in the tournament and ended in 70th position, gaining an astonishing 37,6, Fide (International Chess Federation) rating points. This remarkable achievement was due to his beating a WFM (woman Fide master), who had 400 more rating points than he had.

Alexander also drew with female player Meenal Gupta, who won the silver medal last year and gold at the 2016 Commonwealth Championship. In the process, he represented Paul Roos and South Africa with honour in arguably one of the most difficult tournaments, with India known for its exceptional chess players.

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