Local teacher to show off her draughts skills in Russia
A YOUNG teacher’s draughts board game skills impressed the Mind Sports of South Africa (MSSA) organisation so much that she has been selected to play at an international tournament in Russia.
Andrea Bosch, 23, a first-year teacher at Fairmont High School in Durbanville, will compete in the 2015 Russian and Brazilian World Draughts Championships in St Petersburg, from today until October 11.
Bosch started playing draughts when she was 10, and competed in various recreational competitions.
“I’ve since played in tournaments for which I had to qualify for Western Province colours two weeks ago. Fairmont High hosted that (event a fortnight ago) and I won it. It was run by MSSA.”
She received further lessons from Webster about two weeks ago, she said, adding: “Basically, the game is a lot of fun and strategic, and that is why I enjoy it. It’s a great stress reliever.”
A graduate from the Stellenbosch University, obtaining a certificate in education last year, Bosch lives in Durbanville, attended Gene Louw Primary School there and matriculated at Fairmont High in 2010.
She does not play for a club, and only discovered recently that the game was played professionally.
MSSA General Secretary Colin Webster, whom she met about two weeks ago at MSSA’s Fairmont-hosted event, has been coaching her. She will compete in the female category of the competition in Russia, according to Webster.
“Andrea is the first woman who will officially represent South Africa in draughts, and the first draughts player to represent the country in Russia.
“MSSA knows she will do the country proud.”
Webster said MSSA’s management board decided on Bosch as its candidate for the Russian championships, which carries prize money of about R832 000.
“Andrea already has senior Western Cape provincial colours, having won both the eSports game of Tekken Tag Tournament II, as well as for Brazilian Draughts without losing a game.”
Ronald Dingley, Fairmont’s principal, said his school was proud of Bosch’s selection, which brings a new dimension of board games into the school.
Webster said MSSA was an affiliate of the International eSports Federation, Federation de Jeau du Mondiale and the International Wargames Federation.
Due to its membership of such international bodies, MSSA is the sole authority for the games that it caters for in terms of the Sport and Recreation Act, No 110 of 1998 (as amended).
“The MSSA is responsible for the good governance and promotion of historical figure games (also known as war games), board games (such as Diplomacy, checkers, draughts, morabaraba, sport stacking, card gaming, robotics) and eSports (whether played on cellphones, Sony PSPs, or personal computers),” Webster said.
It is believed that draughts was first played in South Africa by Southeast Asian slaves.