It is indeed a dark hour in the South African Chess scene as we mourn the loss of one of our brightest lights Mr. Alfred Pesa, Vice President of Chess South Africa.
Bra Alf, as he was fondly known to those who have had the pleasure of interacting with him on and off the chess board, was a glimmer of hope and a personification of good sportsmanship.
We will miss watching him give insightful post-match analysis and encouraging remarks after having defeated a youthful opponent in a close match; or witnessing him advising players about the importance of formalizing their chess clubs and getting involved in the committees that determine the progress of their federations.
Bra Alfred was an involved leader in the chess community who made sure that everyone felt welcome in a tournament hundreds of kilometres away from home, even when he was not the host himself; his attitude was just that of communion and thus he viewed all chess players as his friends and family.
Even as we are saddened by this huge loss, we are comforted by the legacy he leaves us with. Mr. Pesa committed his knowledge, time and many other resources to promote the accessibility of chess in areas previously ignored; he was a champion of the struggle for fairness and good governance in chess politics; a role-model that many of us aspire to emulate.
Rest in peace to a great Chess Player whose strength seemed to be getting better with age; a Chess Coach who not only taught youngsters how to play the game but also made them fall in love with chess; a Chess Activist who touched and changed the trajectory of many a life of the youth by teaching them the basic principles of life through chess; an administrator par excellence, President of Northen Cape Chess and Vice-President of Chess South Africa; a friend, a leader, a comrade and a brother all chess players and chess lovers on the African continent.
Our deepest condolences to all the hearts saddened by the loss of this bright light, may you as we do, find solace in knowing that he has sparked many little lights that will brighten up the future.