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South African Chess Championship

The South African Chess Championship was first organised in 1892 by the Cape Town Chess Club. It is now organised by Chess South Africa (CHESSA), the governing body of chess in South Africa. The tournament is normally held every two years. It is restricted to chess players resident in South Africa (although exceptions have been made on occasion) and participation is by invitation only.

CHESSA was formed in 1992, after unification talks between various chess bodies that commenced the previous year. The 1995 event, the first organised by CHESSA, included titled players from Angola and Zimbabwe and was run on the Swiss system. Since that date, the tournament has been held on a round-robin basis. The winner of the tournament holds the title of South African Closed Chess Champion until the next tournament is held.

Historically, the tournament was usually held on a round-robin or double round-robin basis. In case of a tie for first place, a playoff match was usually conducted. In the early days, the title holder could also be challenged to a title match, and these matches are tabled below.

Winners of the national championship

# Year City Winner
1 1892 Cape Town Arthur Rivett
Edward Roberts
2 1897 Cape Town Edward Roberts
3 1899 Durban Abraham Michael
4 1903 Johannesburg Francis Joseph Lee
5 1906 Cape Town Bruno Edgar Siegheim
6 1910 Cape Town Harry Duhan
7 1912 Johannesburg Bruno Edgar Siegheim
8 1920 Cape Town A.J.A. Cameron
Alexander Chavkin
9 1924 Durban Alexander Chavkin
10 1926 Johannesburg Max Blieden
11 1928 Cape Town Max Blieden
12 1935 Johannesburg John C. Archer jr
13 1937 Cape Town Kurt Dreyer
14 1939 Durban Wolfgang Heidenfeld
15 1946 Johannesburg Wolfgang Heidenfeld
John Holford
16 1947 Cape Town Wolfgang Heidenfeld
Kurt Dreyer
17 1949 Durban Wolfgang Heidenfeld
18 1951 East London Wolfgang Heidenfeld
19 1953 Johannesburg John E. Eriksen
20 1955 Cape Town Wolfgang Heidenfeld
21 1957 Durban Wolfgang Heidenfeld
22 1959 Johannesburg Wolfgang Heidenfeld
Kenneth Kirby
23 1961 Cape Town Woolf Gerber
24 1963 Pretoria Kenneth Kirby
Kees van der Meyden
25 1965 Salisbury Piet Kroon
26 1967 Johannesburg David Friedgood
27 1969 Pretoria Piet Kroon
28 1971 Johannesburg David Friedgood
29 1973 Cape Town David Friedgood
30 1975 East London Piet Kroon
Charles de Villiers
31 1977 Pretoria David A. Walker
Charles de Villiers
32 1979 Johannesburg Frank Korostenski
33 1981 Cape Town Charles de Villiers
34 1983 Pretoria Donald Macfarlane
35 1985 Johannesburg Clyde Wolpe
Charles de Villiers
36 1987 Pretoria Charles de Villiers
37 1989 Secunda Charles de Villiers
38 1995 Cape Town David Gluckman
39 1998 Bruma Lake Mark Rubery
Watu Kobese
40 2000 Port Elizabeth Nicholas van der Nat
41 2003 Kempton Park Watu Kobese
Kenny Solomon
42 2005 Cape Town Nicholas van der Nat
43 2007 Cape Town Henry Robert Steel
44 2009 Cape Town Nicholas van der Nat
45 2011 Cape Town Henry Robert Steel
Watu Kobese
46 2014 Cape Town Donovan van den Heever
47 2015 Cape Town Daniel Cawdery

Winners of the South African Title