October 18, 2011
The first record of chess in the country came in 1885 with the founding of the Cape Town Chess Club. The first National Championship was organised in 1892 and won by E. Roberts. The South African Chess Federation was founded in 1947. Eight years later, the first international tournament was set up in 1955 and won by Mühren and Heidenfeld, who was at the time the best local player and multiple National Champion. Affiliated to FIDE, the national team went to participate in the Olympiad of Munich 1958. Harry Golombek and Alberic O’Kelly shared the title of the first Open Championship in 1962. Frequently Masters and Grandmasters used to travel to the country to participate in lucrative tournament, but with the world boycott in 1977 due to political and racial reasons, South Africa was excluded from FIDE. Despite a strong tournament won by Ulf Andersson in 1981, chess made no more progress in the country, and only in 1992, when apartheid was banished, activities started up once again.
In 2011 South Africa listed 6 IMs and a total of 45 titled players.
The national champions were:
1892 Edward Roberts, 1897 Edward Roberts, 1899 Abraham Michael, 1903 Francis Joseph Lee, 1906 Bruno Edgar Siegheim, 1910 Harry Duhan, 1912 Bruno Edgar Siegheim, 1920 Arthur Cameron, Alexander Chavkin, 1924 Alexander Chavkin, 1926 Max Blieden, 1928 Max Blieden, 1935 John C. Archer jr, 1937 Kurt Dreyer, 1939 Wolfgang Heidenfeld, 1946 Wolfgang Heidenfeld, John M. Holford, 1947 Wolfgang Heidenfeld, Kurt Dreyer, 1949 Wolfgang Heidenfeld, 1951 Wolfgang Heidenfeld, 1953 John E. Eriksen, 1955 Wolfgang Heidenfeld, 1957 Wolfgang Heidenfeld, 1959 Wolfgang Heidenfeld, Kenneth Kirby, 1961 Woolf Gerber, 1963 enneth Kirby, Kees van der Meyden, 1965 Piet Kroon, 1967 David Friedgood, 1969 Piet Kroon, 1971 David Friedgood, 1973 David Friedgood, 1975 Piet Kroon, Charles de Villiers, 1977 David A. Walker, Charles de Villiers, 1979 Frank Korostenski, 1981 Charles de Villiers, 1983 Donald Macfarlane, 1985 Clyde Wolpe, Charles de Villiers,1987 Charles de Villiers, 1989 Charles de Villiers, 1995 David Gluckman, 1998 Mark Rubery, Watu Kobese, 2000 Nicholas van der Nat, 2003 Watu Kobese, Kenneth Solomon, 2005 Nicholas van der Nat, 2007 Henry Robert Steel, 2009 Nicholas van der Nat, 2011 Nicholas Van der Nat.