Lyndon Bouah

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Lydon BouahBio
Dr Lyndon Bouah is the Chief Director for Sport and Recreation in the province of the Western Cape. He has contributed to the writing of the National Sport and Recreation Plan in South Africa. he is currently a member of the Netball World Cup 2023 Board.







Sport and History, continuity and change

Checkmating within the Cold War by Dr Lyndon Bouah

In the 1970’s the opposition to South Africa’s participation in international sport due to its apartheid policy was at its strongest. South Africa had already been banned from the Olympic Games in 1963 and in 1974 in Nice, France it was requested to leave the international Chess Olympiad after the sixth round.

The Soviet Union, together with Afro Asian countries played an important role in the suspension and subsequent expulsion of South Africa from international chess. The author explores the role of the Soviet Union and its relationship with the forces opposing the South African Government’s apartheid system of the time.  The author highlights the Cold War and its interplay in South Africa.

The paper addresses the relationship between the white establishment sport bodies and specifically the chess federation during the 1970’s and 1980’s. The opposition to South Africa’s participation in international chess by the Soviet Union served a number of purposes. The author proposes a new theory which only came to light in recent publications.

The paper is significant as it contributes to the understanding of international sport politics using a comparatively smaller sporting code that was elevated to a higher level because of the stakes involved in the Cold War involving the Soviet Union and the Unites States.

Key Words: Cold War – Soviet Union – Chess – International participation. – Apartheid

Submitted by Dr Lyndon Bouah ( – Interdisciplinary Centre for Sport Science and Development  University of the Western Cape


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