USA's Top Daily Chess News Blog, Informative, Fun, and Positive

hosted by Chess Queen™ & 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Checkmate, Mr President!

Chess news and chess trivia blog (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2010

President Zuma with 12-year-old Sifiso as
part of a 'Moves for Life' event.

Hi Everybody,

Here is a nice story from Africa. Twelve-year-old Sifiso Mashazi beat President Jacob Zuma of South Africa during an intense chess game in a small rural town of Nkandla!

The 2010 JZ Chess Tournament, sponsored by the Moves for Life trust of which Zuma is patron, was held at Nkandla municipal hall yesterday. Zuma, who is an avid chess player and also one of the promoters of chess in rural areas, eventually surrendered to Sifiso’s crafty moves.

Sifiso seemed oblivious to the cameras and tensions around him and Zuma. He focused and gave the president a chance to make his moves. During the game Zuma was heard to mutter “sekushubile impela” (it is now getting tough).

Sifiso never looked up during the game, and only gave a big smile when Zuma finally surrendered. “I am really happy. It was a very serious game to me, but I was not scared.”

Sifiso said his love for chess started at an early age. “I finally got my first chess set from my aunt who knew the love I had for this sport. I was very happy and have been practising almost every day.” A Grade 5 pupil, Sifiso said he would never forget the day he beat his president. “I just wish my school had a chess set so I could teach all the other boys at school.”

On Zuma’s arrival, children, teenagers and their parents jostled and pushed to get a picture of him as he moved from table to table, chatting to the players and assessing the different states of play.

“Chess, just like any other game, is very important. It has been scientifically proven the sport can enhance the mind, and this is exactly what we need for the young people,” said President Zuma.

You can read the full news report here.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home