August is Women’s Month and the West Coast Chess Union had a prestigious chess event at Club Mykonos from 7-10 August in honour of women, especially those in the chess fraternity.
Every year, in August, the country marks Women’s Month, where we pay tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. This year marks 65 years since the watershed 1956 women’s march to the Union Buildings.
In light of this historic event the tournament is held annually. This year also saw the inclusion of some of the country’s top female chess players. Current African Chess champion, and ambassador for the West Coast women’s tournament and also first South African Women’s Grandmaster elect Jesse February graced the event with her presence.
The event was opened by the President of West Coast Chess, Basil Ellman, and an inspiring speech was given by Charlton Niewoudt, a representative from the Department of Sport and Culture.
The President of Western Cape Chess Andre Lewaks was the MC.
The tournament was FIDE rated and was attended by three International women Masters (IM) – IM Anzel Laubscher, IM Charlize van Zyl and IM Jesse February – and a candidate Master, Natasha Joubert, who gave the event even more prestige. Also present was Grandmaster Sahaj Grover, who commented that the event was organised on world class standards, a huge compliment to the organisers West Coast Chess Union and tournament sponsor Club Mykonos.
IM Anzel Laubscher, defended her title and won the tournament for the second year, putting her on a hat-trick course if she can sustain her current streak. It will be a huge celebration.
Before the presentation of prizewinners began, all the women participants were given a pink and white chess set, honouring them as women as this is what this event was all about.
The final result:
IM Anzel Laubscher – Provincial Womens champion 2021
1. Reegan Palmer
2. Cecil Ohlsen
3. IM Charlize van Zyl
“As the West Coast Chess Union we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude on behalf of all women and girls from the West Coast community and elsewhere to our sponsors, DCAS, Mykonos, Signage, and all those who contributed on a small scale that contributed to the success of our Women’s Day event,” the Union said.