13:44, Wednesday, 3rd January, 2018

Tonight will see a historical moment as GM Hikaru Nakamura from the USA takes on World Champion Magnus Carlsen in the final of the Chess.com Speed Chess Championships. The two strongest blitz players in the world will be competing in a match which is worth $10,000 in addition to the prize money both have already won earlier in the tournament. GM Eric Hansen and IM Danny Rensch will be providing live commentary for what is expected to be a record online audience.

What makes the match hugely significant from an African perspective is that Hikaru is competing from Johannesburg in South Africa!

He arrived this morning and is currently based at Birchwoods Hotel and Conference Center where the 2017 South African Junior Chess Championships will commence tomorrow morning.

Naka will play the match live in front of a packed house in the main Auditorium and will also deliver a Masterclass and 100 board simultaneous display later this week. The match gets under way at 8pm South Africa time (GMT+2) and will be broadcast live on the Chess.com stream on Twitch.

The South African Junior Chess Championships is by far the largest junior chess tournament on the African continent is expected to attract in excess of 2500 participants across the various events that run in parallel over the 9 day duration of the tournament.

The event has been opened to foreign participants this year and will see players from Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana compete alongside their South African colleagues later in the event.

KCF Africa would like to thank Hikaru for taking time out of his exceptionally busy schedule to visit the tournament and we wish him the best of luck in his match against Magnus this evening!