Junior Nationals Update.

Hello to everyone reading the blog.

As the year comes hurtling to a close we as usual have the premium South African chess events looming. This year the South African Junior Chess Championships will be held in Durban with the venue being the ICC. There are a lot of changes as CHESSA looks to align with the international best practice. We have had this system for as long as I can remember and that’s 20 years!. We have been needing a change.

This is an update of the state and format for the Junior nationals. Many people are uninformed of the state of play and I hope to give clarity and help with debate. Please note that these rules might still change but I will keep the blog updated.

At this stage the team event will be a 9 rounds Swiss run using the same rules as the Olympiad. All age group teams will play in the same section, giving a chance to every team to compete for fair placing. The 9 rounds is maybe too little but its a big adjustment from where we are coming from.

It will bring us inline with international standards as the Senior and Youth Olympiad are run this way, as well as the world club championship’s. The advantage of this system means that teams don’t need to gain promotion to be able to compete for the top spots. In the past regions have had teams capable of winning a medal but unfortunately they were not in the Championship section.

The time control will be 90 minutes a side for the whole game and NO ADD on time. The proposed schedule will be 3 rounds on the 15th, 3 rounds on the 16th, 2 rounds on the 17th and 1 on the 18th. It seems like a lot but we want teams to get the chance to prove how good they are and if we don’t have enough rounds in a Swiss the placings will not be fair.

They still need to decide the sections for the prizes but the Olympiad has many category prizes, so I expect them to follow the same route. Their will be 2 kinds of board prizes one for total percentage score and the second for highest performance rating. This again is the international standard.

I will keep updating as things change. Please post your comments and questions and I can help with the information.