Melissa Greef, who last year became the tournament’s youngest winner, was all smiles as she received her cash prize of R2000 from special guest, US Woman Grand Master, Jennifer Shahade.

Melissa Greeff (13) has successfully defended her title at the 2007 South African Women’s Open Chess Championship hosted at Cresta Shopping Centre from April 26-29.

At such a young age, Melissa’s chess career has brought great success and reward.

Last year, she won the girls section of the African Junior Chess Championships (U20) in December 2006 in Botswana, and was awarded a Woman International Master title (WIM) and her first Woman Grand Master norm.

Her win in Botswana gave her qualification for the World U20 Championships in 2007, and she has also been selected for the South African Women’s squad to play in the All African Games in Algeria in July 2007 (the youngest-ever player to be selected).

Gauteng Junior Chess Association chairman, Brian Aitchison, hailed the event as a success and said association was proud to host this event which was aimed at promoting women in chess.

Complete results can be found on the Gauteng Junior Chess Association website.

Below are the abbreviated results of the SA Open Women’s Chess Championship Placings:
1st. Melissa Greef (6)
2nd. Monique Sischy (5.5)
3rd. Anzel Solomons (5)
4th. Laetitia van Wyk (5)
5th. Ezet Roos (4.5)
6th. Sandra van de Venter (4.5)
7th. Carmen de Jager (4.5)
8th. Kelly-Anne Main (4.5)
9th. Megalie Mendes (4.5)

Age-Group Placings
U10 Sune du Toit
U12 Marlise van Tonder
U14 Nadia Jouberts
U16 Nina de Swardt
U18 Danielle le Roux
U20 Laura Erwing

Special Awards
Personality of the Tournament: Thea Kuhn
gsport … for Girls! Most Improved Player: Eljeanie Wilke