#TuksChess: Pieter Reyneke is on a mission to play that one perfect chess game

Posted on February 01, 2023

The challenge to be in a quest for perfection is the reason why the Tuks law student, Pieter Reyneke, took up playing chess. 

He is the first to admit that up to now, he has yet to succeed in playing that perfect game. Reyneke has had his moments. Last year, he finished seventh in the men’s U-20 category at the Commonwealth Chess Championship in Sri Lanka. 

According to Reyneke, it is unlikely that anyone will ever play the perfect chess game. 

"There certainly will be those who would come close to doing so. The reality is that even world champions make mistakes. That is why I love playing. Unfortunately, for now, my focus is more on getting my degree. It means I will play less competitive chess. My biggest challenge will be to be at my best for Tuks at the USSA Tournament."

The Tuks student said his mom got him playing when he was about six. 

"She played when she was at school and thought playing chess would be an excellent way to get me thinking. She is right. Chess is all about making the right move at the right time. In short, it boils down to a battle of the brains. 

"You got to be fit to play chess, but not in the way, many might think. The most significant challenge in our sport is that a match could last up to five hours. So you got to train to be utterly focused. Only think about your next move and its outcome while sitting in the same chair.  

"I once played a game that lasted for nearly five hours. Playing 'cat and mouse' for such a long time only to have it end in a draw is possibly the worst result you can get in chess. Afterwards, I was emotionally drained. It was like it was all for nothing."

Reyneke said when he started to play chess competitively, he used to be a positional player. It meant wearing his opponent down, waiting for him to make a mistake. 

"But about two years ago, I started to get bored. It forced me to rethink my game. I changed my tactics to play more aggressively. That helped to rekindle my passion. Experience also taught me that it is crucial that you got to be able to adapt your tactics to that of your opponent. If you don't the best-laid plans can go awry very quickly during a game."

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