The Chess Café

Founding Member and Owner – Pieter W. Nel
Nationality – South African

Matriculated in 1971 and completed military training in 1972. Then studied forestry at Saasveld Forest College and later transferred to the Head Office of the Department of Forestry where he gained valuable experience within the industry. He studied nature conservation through the joint partnership of the Wits University and the Pretoria Technicon.

In 1975 he ventured into the private sector and became a senior sales manager in the life insurance industry from 1975 until 1990, while also owning a successful brokerage. Thereafter he ventured into a career within the outdoor advertising media as a senior partner and senior executive director for the Directosign and Combo Sign Group of Companies.

In 2002 Pieter was elected as development official for East Gauteng Junior Chess Association and from 2003 to 2011 was the chairperson of East Gauteng Junior Chess. He was elected as vice-president of East Gauteng Chess Union in 2005, and became the president of the East Gauteng Chess Union in 2007 – 2011, thereafter became honorably President and still holds that position today.

He served as development director for the South African Junior Chess Association from 2005 to 2009. He has taken it upon himself to continue with chess development in his private and personal capacity as a chess organizer and administrator.

He was actively involved in the organization and planning of the Commonwealth Chess Games and the South African Open Chess Championships held at Emperors’ Palace and Conference Centre in 2010. The Commonwealth Chess Championships were a huge success and will lead to various other chess tournaments to be held on a national and international basis.

Pieter has successfully organized chess tours in Europe, such as those at Saint Lo (Normandy) Pardubice (Czech Republic). He has visited many other countries for chess-related business and tourism, notably Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and Japan, and to establish a good relationship with people interested in chess tours.

Philosophy of Company

Pieter’s philosophy is to combine his expertise and experience of the world of chess with his intimate knowledge of the travel industry, to present tournaments as new, different and exciting chess experiences, whilst still maintaining the ethos of the game itself.

This approach includes hosting tournaments in unusual settings and locations such as game parks, guest and game lodges, river boats, nature reserves, mountain retreats, museums, restaurants, shopping malls, etc.

In this manner he strives to make a positive contribution at all levels to the development and promotion of the game as such, as well as of tourism in general.

By focusing mainly on the essence of thinking laterally, The Chess Café intends to be the most innovative chess tournament management initiative nationally and internationally.

The Chess Café will reflect on an ongoing basis the personal ethos and values of its founder, and will conduct its business in conformity with best international business practice.

In South Africa and internationally, The Chess Café looks forward with great confidence to contributing meaningfully to the growth and appreciation of chess through and with tourism.

In this manner he strives to make a positive contribution at all levels to the development and promotion of the game as such, as well as of tourism in general.

By focusing mainly on the essence of thinking laterally, The Chess Café intends to be the most innovative chess tournament management initiative nationally and internationally.

The Chess Café will reflect on an ongoing basis the personal ethos and values of its founder, and will conduct its business in conformity with best international business practice.

In South Africa and internationally, The Chess Café looks forward with great confidence to contributing meaningfully to the growth and appreciation of chess through and with tourism.