We have about 20 players that have qualified for the SA Junior Closed which starts 24 April, for the rest of players the last chance to qualify that will be the wild card. However please note WE ARE still awaiting confirmation regarding this event.


How to represent Border And Age groups


Age groups:


Under 8 = Born 2013 or later

Under 10 = Born 2012, 2011

Under 12 = Born 2010, 2009 

Under 14 = Born 2008, 2007

Under 16 = Born 2006, 2005

Under 18 = Born 2004, 2003

Under 20 = Born 2002, 2001


How to be selected to represent Border and then South Africa

1) Regional Buffalo City (Border) Trials

To be eligible for selection for the Regional team, your child needs to compete in the Buffalo City Junior trials that are run every year. (Dates can be viewed under events and upcoming events)

There are normally between 3 and 5 of these trials that are run every year, and the firm requirement is to play in at least 3 of these during the year; and then the scores are taken into account in the selection process - so it can be advantageous to play in as many of these as you can.

What to Expect from these Regional Trials Events as a parent:

These are held at Freemasons Hall 61 Lower Croydon Road Chiselhurst Cambridge in the East London area, - details are included in invitations sent out before each event. They normally comprise of playing 5 to 7 games against other children in their age-groups, with scores being allocated based on the results in the games, and medals or certificates awarded for the top performers. These events are usually held on a  Saturday.

The event normally starts with having your child's name ticked off on a register when you arrive, and usually about ½ an hour before the first game is scheduled to start, a sheet is put on the wall for your child’s age-group. This will indicate what board number they are playing on, (if they are listed on the left of the sheet it means they are playing White for that game, if on the right they are playing Black for that game.)

Once you have checked what board they are playing, and whether they are playing Black or White, take them to their table just before the first game is scheduled to start, encourage them to give their opponent a little handshake, and then you wait outside the hall until the game is complete.  

Children are expected to annotate their games from u-10 onwards, or otherwise if they are very new, it’s certainly not critical at the start - they can just put a tick where they would normally write moves in; but it’s a good thing to learn soon thereafter in any case, as a coach can walk them through their game afterwards and give them tips to improve, if they annotated their game. (This provides a walkthrough of how to do Annotation if needed: )

For most cases chess clocks will also be used, normally set to 30-30 (so each player gets 30 minutes of time, for a total of 60 minutes max per game) or 60-60.

So, to sum up - What to Bring for the games:

  • Pens
  • Notation sheet or lined paper I have shared this handy printable file that you can use to print your own Chess Notation Sheet
  • A Water-bottle that can close

Events usually have tuckshops available, but you are very welcome to bring your own food and drinks, and in fact most folks tend to make a day of it - bringing camping chairs, fold-out tables, board games and snacks; and is a wonderful opportunity to meet other parents, and for your child to make new friends both during and between games. With usually well over 100 children in attendance it does tend to take on a bit of a festival vibe between games, with kids running everywhere. It should be noted that chess parents are an extremely open and helpful sort, and if it was your first event, feel free to either ask for a steer from anyone there, or alternately ask for a committee member, who will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have on the day, to help ensure you feel very welcome.

To Represent South Africa in Chess and Earn your SA Colours

While earning Provincial Colours is of course an amazing achievement, if you wanted to encourage your child to push further to the next level, and go for their SA Colours, they need to be selected to play in the SA Closed Trials usually held around April the following year.

They can earn a place in the SA Closed Trials in the following three ways:


By playing in various tournaments and increasing their rating to one of the top 10 in the country and gaining automatic entry

Grand Prix Points

By playing in various tournaments and earning enough points to be in the top 10 in the country and gaining automatic entry

Wild Card

Participating in the SA Wildcard Championships tournament which is held directly after the SA Team Championships and finishing in the top 10 of this tournament. All players that finish with the same points as the number 10 are eligible.

The players that qualify are then notified by their Unions and can then take part in the South African Junior Closed Tournament where the Top 10 qualify to represent their country.

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