Our Team

Photographer: Reint Dykema

Heinco du Plessis

Chess has been Heinco’s first true love and passion since a very young age. He was taught how to play chess at the age of 4 and started playing competitive chess at the age of 7. He started coaching schools and private students at the age of 17. Heinco regards chess to be a raw, completely equal nature of battle; no information is being hidden by either player, from either player. The position on the chess board portrays everything that there is to see; the only element of surprise is what one player fails to see when guessing what the opponent might do next. ‘Chess is the purest form of battle and is therefore beautiful and perfect.’

Heinco Du Plessis - Our Team

Photographer: Reint Dykema

Summarized history of Heinco’s achievements as a chess player:

  • 2002 to 2009 – Represented Johannesburg Metro Chess (Gauteng Juniors/Gauteng West) at national events.
  • 2009, 2011 to 2013 – Represented South Africa at International Events (2009: Under 16 Chess Olympiad, 2011 – 2013: World Junior Chess Championships respectively).
  • 2010 – Acknowledged as the highest FIDE rated player in the Under 18 section in Africa (FIDE Elo: 2140).
  • 2017 – Won 2nd place at the South African Closed Chess Championships Under 23 Open Section.
  • 2018 – Captained the Tshwane Adult A-Team to victory at the South African Inter Regional Championship. (The winning team consisted of four players; three of the four being Dynamic Chess Solutions coaches; Heinco, Benjamin and Jakob.)

Summarized history of Heinco’s achievements as a chess coach:

  • 2013 to 2015 – Coached North West University’s Potchefstroom campus’ chess team. The team won 1st place at the Women Inter-University Championships in 2015.
  • 2015 – Chosen as a High-Performance Coach for Tshwane Chess.
  • 2016 – 2 students represented South Africa at the African Youth Chess Championships held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Yanti Nunnan won first place in her age category girls’ section and was therefore rewarded the Woman Candidate Master title.)
  • 2017 – Coached Tshwane Chess Under 14 A Open, Under 14 B Open and Under 14 A Girls at the South African Junior Chess Championships – Team Event. All three teams won each of their categories respectively.
  • 2018 – Heinco passed the FIDE Trainer’s course, led by the renowned and honourable GM, IO, IA & FST Efstratios Grivas and GM & FST Adrian Mikhalchishin, and was awarded the title of FIDE Instructor.

Jakob Mnguni

Jakob has long seen chess as a combination of art and science depending on one’s personality. With that, he strongly believes youngsters can benefit immensely from its study both in their academics and everyday life decision making processes.

Carlia Venter - Our Team

Photographer: Reint Dykema

Summarized history of Jakob’s achievements as a chess player:

  • 2014 and 2015 – Received national colours after winning University South African Closed Chess Championship. Qualified to represent South Africa in Budapest, Hungary, at an International Master (IM) and Grand Master (GM) level tournament.
  • 2016 – Represented South Africa at the World University Chess Championships, held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • 2015 – Won the South African Inter Regional Chess Championships alongside South Africa’s top chess player.
  • 2016 – Represented South Africa in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe at the Confederation of University and Colleges Sports Associations (CUCSA) Chess Championship in a team event (each team consisted of only 4 players each). The team finished in first place amongst 7 different African countries.
  • 2017 – Participated at the South African Closed Chess Championship.

Summarized history of Jakob’s achievements as a chess coach:

  • 2016 to 2018 – Analysis Coach for Tshwane Chess during the South African Junior Chess Championship.

Benjamin Hercules

Benjamin is an avid chess lover and enthusiast who is deeply passionate about the growth of an active chess culture in a diverse South Africa. He brings a patient, motivating dimension to coaching while striving to harness the individual’s potential. Enjoyment of the game and the chess experience is fundamental in his approach to the holistic development of the player.

Heinco Du Plessis - Our Team

Photographer: Reint Dykema

Summarized history of Ben’s achievements as a chess player:

  • 2000 to 2018 – Participating in regional, provincial, national as well as international tournaments.
  • 2010 – Won 1st place at the South African Junior Chess Championships Under 21 Open Section.
  • 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011 – Represented South Africa at International Events (2006, 2007: Under 16 Chess Olympiad, 2010, 2011: World Under 21 Chess Championships respectively).
  • 2012 and 2013 – Won 1st place at the South African University Championships. (Was also awarded the Top University Player award at the 2013 Commonwealth Chess Championships.)
  • 2017 – Competed in the Olympiad Qualifier Tournament.

Summarized history of Ben’s achievements as a chess coach:

  • 2013 – Provided training and lecturing support towards a silver medal for the University of Witwatersrand men’s team at University Sports South Africa Championship.
  • 2017 and 2018 – Coached the Tshwane Chess Under 18 Open A-Team at the South African Junior Chess Championships – Team Event. The team won their category.

Carlia Venter

Carlia was only taught how to play chess at the age of 14, which is regarded as a rather ‘late’ stage in the chess world. She has always admired the beauty of the sport and the immense impact that it has on the development of an individual on a cognitive, emotional and psychological level.

Carlia Venter - Our Team

Photographer: Reint Dykema

Summarized history of Carlia’s achievements as a chess player:

  • 2013 to 2017 – Chosen for Sedibeng Under 20 Team to participate at the South Africa Junior Chess Championships, Team Event.
  • 2015 to 2017 – Qualified for the South African Junior Closed Chess Championships.
  • 2017 – Won 3rd place at the South African Junior Closed Chess Championships in the Under 20 Girls Section.
  • 2017 – Awarded the best Under 20 Chess Player of the Year award in the Sedibeng region.
  • 2017 – Represented South Africa at the Commonwealth Chess Championships, held in New Delhi, India.

Summarized history of Carlia’s achievements as a chess arbiter:

  • 2015 – Qualified as a Regional Arbiter.
  • 2015 – Qualified as a Provincial Arbiter.
  • 2016 – Arbiters the South African Junior Chess Championships – Inter Region Event and Wild Card Event.
  • 2017 – Arbiters the South African Open Chess Championships and the South African Junior Chess Championships – Blitz Event, Doubles Event, Team Event, Inter Region Event and Wild Card Event.
  • 2018 – Arbiters the University Sports South Africa Chess Championship.

John Jurgens

Heinco Du Plessis - Our Team

Photographer: Reint Dykema

John is an experienced chess player, coach and teacher. Some highlights of his chess career have been winning the Rooseveldt Park Club Championships (1982), winning the Swellendam Open in 2010 and winning a board prize for the Western Province Club Championships Premiere Division in 2012. 

During 2010 John was employed by Chesscube as a video editor where he worked with hundreds of hours of chess instructional material and also created a series of video chess lessons for children with the well-known American chess coach David MacEnulty. In 2011 he passed the FIDE Trainers Course and qualified as a Developmental Instructor. It is John’s ambition to pass the happiness and good society which chess has always brought him, on to the young champions of tomorrow.

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