South African Chess Championship
The South African Chess Championship was first organised in 1892 by the Cape Town Chess Club. It is now organised by Chess South Africa (CHESSA), the governing body of chess in South Africa. The tournament is normally held every two years. It is restricted to chess players resident in South Africa (although exceptions have been made on occasion) and participation is by invitation only.
CHESSA was formed in 1992, after unification talks between various chess bodies that commenced the previous year. The 1995 event, the first organised by CHESSA, included titled players from Angola and Zimbabwe and was run on the Swiss system. Since that date, the tournament has been held on a round-robin basis. The winner of the tournament holds the title of South African Closed Chess Champion until the next tournament is held.
Historically, the tournament was usually held on a round-robin or double round-robin basis. In case of a tie for first place, a playoff match was usually conducted. In the early days, the title holder could also be challenged to a title match, and these matches are tabled below.
Winners of the national championship
Winners of the South African Title
- 1897 Edward Roberts (defeated Arthur Cameron in challenge)
- 1898 Edward Roberts (defeated P.G. Van Breda in challenge)
- 1910 Max Blieden (defeated Bruno Edgar Siegheim in challenge)
- 1911 Bruno Edgar Siegheim (defeated Harry Duhan in challenge)
- 1912 Bruno Edgar Siegheim (defeated Henk Meihuizen in challenge)
- The title being shared after a drawn playoff match.
- Bruno Edgar Siegheim defeated Max Blieden in a playoff match.
- Kurt Dreyer who defeated Jack Wolpert in a playoff match.
- The tournament was actually won by the visiting Argentinian Grandmaster Miguel Quinteros, who was not eligible for the national title
- Mark Crowther (13 January 2014). "THE WEEK IN CHESS 1001". TWIC. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- Mark Crowther (29 December 2015). "THE WEEK IN CHESS 1103". TWIC. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
- A History of Chess in Southern Africa, by Leonard Reitstein (2003), ISBN 978-0-620-29829-2. This covers the period from 1892 until 1945.
- South African Chessplayer, edited by Leonard Reitstein, published from 1953 to 1986.
- Guinness Chess: The Records, by Ken Whyld (1986), page 114. This list covers the period from 1892 until 1986.
- Chess In The RSA, edited by Charles van der Westhuizen and others, published from 1987 to 1990.
- Chess in Southern Africa, edited by Mark Levitt and others, published from 1991 to 1995.
- The Week In Chess (TWIC) by Mark Crowther. Refer to TWIC187 for 1998, TWIC286 for 2000, TWIC451 for 2003, TWIC548 for 2005, TWIC685 for 2007, TWIC791 for 2009, TWIC892 for 2011.
- On the 1924 championships: