Photo Credit: Supplied

Caleb and Judah Levitan have been training the Gauteng Development Chess Team that is heading off to Italy for an annual chess event.


South Africa (20 July 2023) – The annual Soncini Games will be taking place from 24-30 July 2023 in Italy, and the development team representing South Africa are ready to fly the SA flag high. The individuals making up the South African contingent for the games come from various backgrounds and areas across Gauteng, including semi-rural parts of the province, townships and suburban areas and schools.

The event not only promises to be a tough competition on the field and over the board, but also an ideal platform for talent identification and uniting communities.

The Soncini Games were born from the close ties between Gauteng and the government of Reggio Emilia in Italy, influenced by the late Tambo’s relationship with the former mayor of the area, Roberto Soncini. Soncini is said to have housed Tambo during his years of exile in Italy. The games, which celebrate the legacy of iconic anti-apartheid leader Oliver Reginald Tambo, have grown to be an important annual feature for young athletes looking to showcase their talent with their peers.

This year, the chess team have been coached by 12 year-old twin South African chess prodigies, Caleb and Judah Levitan, who are no strangers to the local and global chess scene. Last year, Judah and Caleb represented South Africa at the Youth Chess Olympiad held in Azerbaijan as well as the African Youth Chess Championships in Zambia.

Judah and Caleb were selected as coaches due to their exceptional accomplishments as chess players to date but also to give back to a Province who has supported them. The young coaches were in the Gauteng Provincial Team that won Gold in 2022 and Caleb was named as the winner of the Amayanga-Yanga (Young Athlete of the Year) Award at the prestigious Gauteng Sports Awards earlier this year.

Vicky Magu, President of the Johannesburg Sports Confederation, is immensely proud of the exceptional dedication and leadership Caleb and Judah have displayed as coaches of the development teams for the upcoming Soncini Games.

“Their contribution has not just been about teaching our athletes, but mentoring them, encouraging them and guiding them to better understand the game. They’ve done an extraordinary job and have added immense value to our team, enhancing their skills and preparing them for a competitive event like this. What is truly remarkable is that they have done all of this on a volunteer basis. They could have been playing chess anywhere in the world, doing anything, yet they chose to be here with us, sharing their knowledge and passion for chess. Their selfless actions are a testament to their characters and their commitment to give back to the sport that has given them so much. We are truly grateful for their contributions, and I have no doubt that our team will make them proud at the Soncini Games,” says Magu.

The long term impact thanks to Caleb and Judah’s coaching is already starting to expand beyond the Soncini Games.

“One of the development players has made the Gauteng Schools National u15 team which was largely due to the coaching he received from Caleb and Judah during the Soncini Games training,” Magu adds.

Sources: Supplied
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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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