Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has called on the youth to play chess as the board game contributes to the development of strategic thinking which is an important element of life.
Zuma, an ardent chess player himself, attended the inaugural KwaZulu-Natal chess tournament held at the Nkandla Community Hall on Tuesday. Players ranged from 11 to 21 years old and the tournament included an open category for members of the public to participate.
He told the 60 youths from various schools in Nkandla and neighbouring areas that he wanted to see the game being rolled out to remote communities in the province as it required minimal infrastructure.
The president said the board game was one of the most exciting sports even though it did not rank in the same level of popularity as soccer and rugby.
Zuma also called on the private sector to assist in sponsoring chess in rural areas as he believed this would contribute to shaping young people into future thinkers that would lead the country in different disciplines.
KwaZulu Chess President Sandile Xulu said: "Chess gives young people the opportunity to compete, regardless of race or social standing. It provides a field of ideas, concepts and strategy for young growing minds."
Zuma also called on school teachers to encourage the spread and development of the game.