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Chess development in Motherwell was initiated in the beginning of 2010 by Lonwabo Charles with the assistance of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University chess club. The initiative came about through the realisation that chess was almost nonexistent in townships. Even sadder was the fact that very few people in the townships are even aware of the game. It was thus decided that development would start by targeting young people at primary school level.

Subsequently, three primary schools, namely Ikhwezelihle,Elufefeni and Ikhulile, were approached and learners between the grades 4 and 7 were selected. These schools were and are still offered chess lessons once a week as an after-school activity. The learners were making steady progress and, as a result, from the bunch ten most promising players were invited to take part in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Chess Open Tournament in September.

Due to the growing interest of the learners, on the 5th of February 2011 the Motherwell Chess Club was established. The club’s aim is to spread and interest the community of Motherwell in the game of chess. However, as the club is made up of primary school learners, it is hoped that young people will be eager to join the club and learn the game. This is very important because kids who take up chess at an early age stand improve their academics as chess is known to develop logic, reading and mathematical ability.