Two South African teens gained a sponsorship after beating an American Chess Grandmaster

Khanya Mazibuko and Keith Khumalo beat US Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, inspiring him to offer them a sponsorship that will help develop their game further.


Khanya Mazibuko and Keith Khumalo took part in the National Junior Chess Championships in Boksburg. Both young men competed against US Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura and came out victorious.

Khanya is a Grade 11 pupil from Soweto. When he sat down across from Hikaru he never dreamed it would change his life. He played for nearly six hours before winning and insisted his win was only a lucky break.

“I tried to suss him out, and I suffered a few inaccuracies. At one point I was holding the game, then we were equal. He made a mistake [and I capitalised]. I suppose he was tired,” – Khanya Mazibuko

Khanya was introduced to chess when his primary school started an afterschool club. Keith happened upon the game while walking home from school. They love the game because of the challenges it gives the mind and the ability to think out of the box.

US Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura is sponsoring both boys to travel overseas to Europe where they will get a chance to play on the international circuit and possibly attend specialised training camps.

Keith said he nearly fainted when he heard the amazing news. His dream has been to travel and this opportunity will help him achieve a greater chess player. Both young men feel incredibly humbled by the sponsorship.

“He sees potential in me and I hope I can prove him right. I am grateful he has selected me out of everyone,” he said.

“I want to become better. I hope I live up to his expectations.” – Khanya Mazibuko

Chess Grandmaster

Sources: News24
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Tyler Vivier
Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy. Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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