Rodwell Makoto wins the 2012 SA Open in a sprint finish.

Well done to Rowell Makoto on winning this years SA Open. Rodwell was declared the title winner on tie break break as he was tie with GM Ahmed Adly, IM Johannes Mabusela and Daniel Cawdery.

Let set the background before the last round. In first place, by half a point, was GM Thal Abergel. Then a chasing pack of 8 players including GM Adly, IM Mabusela, Cawdery, GM Fernandes, Van Den Heever and Makoto. With the pairings as follows.

1.Abergel – Adly


3.Klaasen-Van Den Heeveer



The first result on the board was the controversial win of Cawdery over Kobese. Watu’s alarm went off  after they had played 8 moves. Watu is no stranger to this type of default in the SA Open as he lost in a similar way during the 2009 SA Open.

Lets look at the games that decided matters.

First we have Adly’s victory against Abergel. Adly has been very lucky in this tournament and has been playing far below his rating. This game is no exception and it wasn’t until GM Abergel got his Knight in troubl on the side of the board on move 32, that Adly had any winning chances.



Next we have a very nice win by IM Mabuslea. Johannes has also been guilty of some very poor chess in this event but can be very happy with this combative win against GM Fernandes.

GM Fernandes will be very disappointed with how things finished for him, as he was running away with the event until his clock caught up with him. GM Fernandes time management was terrible during the whole event. He regularly left himself in situations with 20 moves to make in less than 20 minutes. This doesn’t allow a player to make the best decisions and often this is needed to get a win. So if he had handled his time better I am sure we would have had a different winner.

Next up we had the all cape clash: Western Cape V Eastern Cape- Klaasen V Van den Heever. What also made this such an interesting clash is the very different approaches of the two players. Donovan has a very good theoretical memory and rely’s on brute force calculation to solve problems at the board. Calvin believes in trying to understand the idea of  a system and what he is trying to achieve.He rely’s on a loose assessment of his positions to solve problems at the board. Think of it like a tornado meets a tsunami!

In the end Calvin misses a win with Bc5 but I think both sides had chances to win this one.

To finish off we have Rodwell Makoto’s winning game of the last round. I think also his most ascetically pleasing win as well.

I feel a deserved overall winner as Rodwell had the most consistent chess of the event.