On Wednesday 10 February 2010 TuksSport hosted a chess exhibition at the LC de Villiers Sports Centre. The event was held in an attempt to revive the Tuks chess club and saw more than twenty students from eight different residences battling it out on the chessboards. The exhibition started with Sibongile Maswanganye, Sports Manager at TuksSport, welcoming the guests and briefing everyone about the event. Maswanganye advised the participants to just have fun as there were no prizes awarded to the winners. She went on to encourage students to register and to become part of the new TuksChess team.
Leonard Mahlare, chairperson of TuksChess, explained that each student would play against a student from a different residence for fifteen minutes and the winner would be decided based on points accumulated within that period. Speaking to Perdeby, Mahlare said he had been working hard together with TuksSport since November 2009 to have chess brought back as one of the sporting codes at Tuks. “It feels really good seeing this finally happening. It’s like raising a child under very difficult conditions and finally seeing him/her becoming someone great in life,” says Mahlare. According to Mahlare, ten residences initially applied to take part in the exhibition but he was disappointed when two of them pulled out at the last minute. “But I am happy that everything went well and the event was a success,” he added.
The participants for the evening looked excited and seemed to be enjoying every second of the games. One such participant was Rainier Pietersen, a first-year student from Kiaat. “It feels awesome being part of the exhibition,” he said. Jessica Mgidi from Tuks Village said, “I am excited because this is the only sport I ever wanted to play and the only sport I played in high school.” Mgidi also said she is confident that she is going to make it into the team that will represent Tuks at the intervarsity games against UJ.
Registered members of the chess club will attend practice sessions and a top ten will be selected based on their performance during practices. The top ten will then represent Tuks at the intervarsity games in March. A house league in which different residences and day houses will be taking part is expected to take place on 13-16 April.