Curro Durbanville learner crowned Western Province Chess Champion26 July 2023
Reegan Palmer, an avid chess player and learner at Curro Durbanville High School, was crowned the Western Province Champion at the 2023 WP Closed Chess Championships. Reegan showcased exceptional skills and determination, surpassing the province’s top players.
This prestigious chess championship attracts the finest talents, making Reegan’s victory all the more impressive. He achieved 5 out of 7 points in a round-robin format against the top 7 players in the tournament.
“It is a dream come true. I have been practicing and studying chess my whole life and to see that pay off in this way makes me unimaginably happy. I hope to next year defend my title and perhaps claim a few more,” Reegan says about his achievement.
Reegan’s chess journey started in 2013 at the age of 6 as a Grade R learner at Curro Durbanville Primary School. “I started playing in local tournaments [and] partook in the Western province trials. In 2014 I came 2nd in U/8 [category] at the WP championships. In July 2015 I won the SA Schools Individual Chess Championship 2015, and in October 2015 I represented South Africa overseas in Greece at the World Youth Chess Championships. I was hooked,” he says about where his chess journey began.
His passion for chess has been burning ever since and he has played in every tournament that he could, whether it was over the board or online (during Covid-19). Just in the past two years, Reegan participated in over 50 tournaments.
“I have always loved representing Curro. I always played for the school teams under the mentorship of Coach Roland Willenberg in primary school, and now under Coach Reuben Salimu in the high school.” Coach Reuben attests that Reegan is a hardworking student and that his achievements do not come as a surprise.
Reegan’s FIDE rating currently stands at 1938 and his dream is to pursue chess as a professional and to be deemed as a grandmaster. He is surely on his way to great heights in the world of chess as he was selected to participate in the SA Chess Olympiad U/16 in the Netherlands.