World First: SA Chess Open includes Internet play
ChessCube (www.ChessCube.com), a South African Internet Chess Company, is the sponsor of the 2009 SA Open, being held in
ChessCube is an online chess service with over 600,000 registered users. The Internet initiative began in
FIDE is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the supreme body responsible for the organization of global and continental chess. It defines the rules of chess, both for playing individual games and the conduct of international competitions.
FIDE calculates the ratings of players. These ratings are used to awards titles such as International Master and International Grandmaster. It also awards the International Arbiter title, which signifies that the recipient is competent and trusted to oversee top-class competitions.
The SA Open’s R90,000 ($12,000) prize fund has attracted a number of players to
In addition, International Grandmaster Gawain Jones from the
“Originally ChessCube was planning to have a venue in the
The initial photos coming out of
“The local players have enthusiastically adopted playing their esteemed Australian opponents via the Internet,” said Levitt. “Only one player so far has hinted at the possibility that the remote opponent may be cheating by using software. But on hearing that the Australian group are being chaperoned by an experienced hawk-eyed FIDE arbiter, the assertions were quickly dropped. The secret to creating an official FIDE presence in this event was to ensure that both sides had official FIDE authority”.
This form of multi-venue event, using the Internet to connect land-based venues, may be the answer to expensive air travel. Chess is probably the only Olympic sports that can take advantage of the Internet for participation.
In the current downturn, the cost of living and high cost of travel has made an impact on International sports participation in general.
“ChessCube is planning to expand this form of chess participation in 2010”, said Levitt. “We are planning a multi-country team event – where all the participants compete at a home venue under the guidance of one arbiter per venue!”
An added benefit of this form of competition is that spectators can watch the events from anywhere in the world. All online matches may be watched by logging on to www.chesscube.com. The tournament continues at Wynberg Boys’ High School.
ChessCube (www.chesscube.com) was launched in June 2007 from
For more information, please contact Mark Levitt (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sarah Blake (email@example.com).