Megan Van Niekerk triumphs to become the new 2018 Zone 4.3 Champion!
Megan Van Niekerk caused a sensation when she won the 2018 Zone 4.3 Women section. Last week 7 April Megan Van Niekerk started in the tenth position with a rating of 1674. She went into the Zonal untitled and not known to many of the players. Megan is well known as the youngest sister of the three Van Niekerk sisters, WFM Lauren Van Niekerk and Robyn Van Niekerk. All three sisters have achieved their Senior Protea colours. Let’s look at her journey in the event
In round one she won relatively quickly when she disposed of Sitoe from Mozambique. I recall scanning the results and noting that her result was up first. In round two she lost to WIM Francis Onkemetse (1794) from Botswana. Megan now had to consolidate and she then proceeded to win, win, draw with WIM Jesse February and then rattled off four victories in a row. She also beat WIM Esperance Caxito from Angola.
She scored an emphatic 6.5/7 in the last 7 rounds. She now becomes a WIM elect and has to obtain a rating of 2000 to fully comply with the requirements of the title. She scored 66.2 FIDE rating points and had a tournament performance of 1967!
Over the last two years WIM – elect Megan Van Niekerk has made fantastic progress and scored victories against a number of Olympiad players. She doesn’t hold back and what I enjoy about her chess is that she is not scared of anyone. In a recent conversation over one of her victories against a senior club player in Cape Town she told me that her opponent didn’t know his opening so she decided to punish him! That’s what I like about her! Megan all of us in South Africa are proud of you. You have given yourself the best 21st birthday present ever. Megan turned 21 on 26 March this year.
Story by Dr Lyndon Bouah (right) posing with Freedom Fighter Professor Denis Goldberg. Professor Denis Goldberg was the only white man sentenced to life for sabotage at the Rivonia Trial.