Nelson Mandela University’s Charlize van Zyl has been chosen for the South African team which will compete in the World Olympiad in Russia in August.
The third-year BA media, communications and culture student excelled in the national women’s Closed Championship in December, where she finished joint third.
“The tournament consisted of 12 of the country’s strongest female players in a round-robin format,” said Van Zyl.
“That meant we played everyone and actually I beat both the women who came first and second.”
She said being selected for the Olympiad team for a second time was an extremely proud moment.
“It [the Olympiad] is a highly prestigious tournament and it is an accolade to have made the team,” said Van Zyl. “I worked very hard to get there.
“The first time I made the team was in 2018 when it was held in Georgia.”
This is the 44th Chess Olympiad and it will be held in Moscow from
August 5 to 18.
The former Erica Primary and Collegiate High pupil said she learnt the game from her father at the age of seven.
“When I was eight I began to play competitively and I have taken part in many tournaments nationally and internationally since then.
“In 2013, at the age of 13, I attained the Woman International Master title, becoming the youngest South African ever to do so.”
Chess, she added, was a big part of her life.
“I believe that chess has had an incredible influence on me as a person, to the extent that it is part of who I am.”