SACS pupil, holds chess great Kasparov to a draw

By Time of article published Mar 23, 2012

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Roxanne Thangwane and Xolani Koyana

ONE of the greatest chess players of all time, former world champion Garry Kasparov, met his match yesterday in Khayelitsha where he was held to a draw by an 11-year-old Cape Town pupil, Daniel Barrish.

Kasparov was in Cape Town to promote a joint venture between his foundation and a local NGO providing local chess-based mathematics and science programmes aimed at under-privileged children.

Yesterday the Russian played simultaneous chess matches against 25 young people in Khayelitsha.

After going toe-to-toe with Barrish for three hours, the international chess grandmaster surrendered to the Grade 6 SACS pupil.

Speaking to the Cape Times from his Constantia home, Barrish said it had been an honour for him to play Kasparov.

“I was very happy that I was going to play him, even more that I drew with him. I was nervous and thought I was going to lose. He made a couple of mistakes, he was moving too fast and I capitalised. He had to fight for a draw,” the 11-year-old said.

Barrish, a three-time under- 10 national chess champion, has never conceded a defeat in his age group. He also won the African chess under-10 championship and is the youngest in the Springbok chess team.

His father Jean-Claude Barrish said he was proud of him: “He is good, he has lots of talent. He has put a lot of work into it. He is doing very well academically and what I like is that he balances everything out because he also plays cricket, rugby and tennis.”

While in SA, Kasparov’s foundation, Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa (KCFA), will work with Moves for Life (MfL), a local chess-based mathematics and science programme aimed at under-privileged children.

Last night Kasparov played head to head with 16-year-old South African chess champion Marcel Roberts at Table Mountain’s lower cablecar boardroom, when strong winds stopped them from playing on top of the mountain.

Kasparov and Roberts played two short five-minute games.

President Jacob Zuma, patron of MfL, will today meet Kasparov to celebrate the opening of Kasparov’s Africa branch of his foundation.

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