The victorious B team
The Jeppe A and B Chess teams were medalists at the Johannesburg Central League finals last weekend. The A team came second in the A league and the B team won the B league – a great achievement, considering that neither team made the finals last year.
The A team, consisting of Marcio Evaristo (capt), Robert Monteiro, Thato Kwayiba, Shaur Batohi, Evan Leenaerts, Himeshan Moodley, Pranava Harrichund and Evidence Madzore, had a shaky start to the league season. They lost their opening rounds, but improved steadily as the year progressed, eventually scraping through to the playoffs in fourth position.
That meant they had to play the team that finished first in the semifinals – unbeaten Saheti School – they managed to beat them, which put them into the final against a very strong Queens High School. They lost by one point in a very closely contested match and won the sliver medals.
The B team, playing in the B section, consisted of Nneta Teka, Sean Gillespie, Arendt Theunissen, Aaron Jones, Bradley Nicholson and Lee Bloemstein. They came second in their league, which put them up against KES in the semis, they won that game comfortably and went on the beat St John’s B in the final to take the gold medals.
Jeppe also entered a C team in the B section. It consisted of juniors and beginners, still learning the game, and it did very well to finish in 7th position out of the 12 teams in the league.
The chess programme continues until October, Master in Charge, Mr Gabriel Janse Van Rensburg explained. “We are now involved in the GED inter-district competition and have three players in the finals of the individual competition which take place this Sunday.”
The three are Himeshan Moodley, Pranav Harrichund and Nnete Teka. The A team is leading the log in the team competition and will be playing in the knockout stages later in the year.
“Chess is officially a cultural activity, not a sport, Mr Van Rensburg explains, but the boys take it very seriously and are very competitive. I guess you can call it a mental sport. It’s proving to be a popular activity at Jeppe and the boys are doing us proud.”