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IN PICTURES | Jacob Zuma checks his mates at annual chess tournament

24 December 2019 - 10:41 By Yasantha Naidoo

Former president Jacob Zuma may have taken a break from social media and public appearances but he showed up for his chess fans. 

A less energetic Zuma, accompanied by three of his children, attended the 11th annual JG Zuma Chess tournament in Mandeni, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Monday.

Sandile Xulu, president of the KZN Chess Association and co-ordinator of the tournament which was started in Nkandla 11 years ago by the JG Zuma Foundation, said he was delighted that the chess-loving former president made an appearance. 

This year, however, Zuma didn't play any games or address the participants.

“Out of everything, he couldn't miss this event. Former president Jacob Zuma loves chess dearly,” Xulu said.

About 300 participants from chess clubs throughout the province attended the tournament. 

Xulu said there were four players, Sizwe Ndlovu, Mlungwana Mxolisi, Xulu Lindokuhle and Wandumuzi Khanyile who were among the top players, but it was Ndlovu who emerged victorious in the tiebreaker.

He said in the district teams, comprising five female and five male players, King Cetshwayo took first place followed by Ugu and eThekwini.

“The tournament turnout exceeded our expectations. Former president Jacob Zuma has been internationally recognised for his efforts in promoting chess. It is our call to government to include it as part of the school curriculum as is done in schools in Europe.”