Tue, 12 Nov 2019

An 11-year-old chess prodigy from Crossroads in Cape Town is being helped by a fellow competitor and friend who has started a fundraiser for her so she can travel to Namibia to compete in the African Youth Chess Tournament in December.

Amahle Zenzile, who lives with her granny, already has a string of victories under her belt with the help of coach Thando Hlakula, the founder of the Crossroads Chess Club. She has also received South African colours for chess.

Fellow competitor Trinity van Beeck, 12, has set up a BackaBuddy page here in the hopes of raising the R40 000 Amahle needs for the tournament which runs from December 14 to 22.

"This is an incredible opportunity and hopefully, with your help, it can be a reality," Amahle said in a short video.

Some money is already coming in to the page titled: "Get Amahle to African Youth Chess Tournament", with messages of support also left for her.

Trinity did the same to get Amahle to Johannesburg in March where she finished fifth in the SA Junior Chess Closed Championships.

Since then, she went on to win the Western Cape Schools Chess under-11 girls division and South African Schools Chess under-13 girls tournaments.

Hlaluka is extremely proud of his young charge, while Trinity calls her a "beautiful warrior spirit".

Trinity's mom, Marisa Laas, is confident Amahle will go on to become a women's candidate master at the African Youth Chess Championship.

Her daughter has also qualified for the South African Junior Closed Chess Championship in 2020, and she could be the next to earn South African colours to compete internationally with her friend next year.

"These two beautiful girls inspire and push each other to be the best and as a mom I couldn't be prouder of them both. Even at their young age, they understand the importance of women supporting other women. We as adults can learn so much from them," said Laas in a statement from BackaBuddy.

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