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Open Chess Championships conclude successfully

2024-05-15  Staff Reporter

Open Chess Championships conclude successfully

The Bank Windhoek Namibian Open Chess Championships, hosted by the Namibia Chess Federation (NCF) at the Windhoek Country Club from 8 to 12 May, marked a successful culmination. 

This year’s event, boasting 100 participants engaged in classical chess games, broke new ground by introducing four sections with enhanced prizes, attracting both local and international chess aficionados eager to test their mettle.

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the International Chess Federation, the championships provided a platform for participants to engage in competitive play, and prepare for upcoming international tournaments. 

Notably, the addition of junior and veteran sections alongside the traditional open and women’s categories showcased a diverse range of talent.

Goodwill Khoa, president of the NCF, hailed the return of International Master Robert Gwaze from Zimbabwe and the debut of women’s International Master Esperanca Caxita from Angola as significant highlights.

Their presence elevated the competition, allowing local players to challenge themselves against esteemed masters. Gwaze and Caxita, both highly-rated and titled players, asserted their dominance by securing perfect scores in their respective sections. The high-rated players dominated in their sections, each securing a perfect score of seven points out of seven games.

The championship also benefited from the expertise of international arbiter Chanda Nsakanya from Zambia, further enhancing the event’s quality and credibility. Bank Windhoek’s sponsorship facilitated the recognition of excellence, thus providing eight prizes for the open, women and junior sections, while the veteran section received four awards. 

The bank said this support underscores its commitment to nurturing chess talent and fostering sports growth.

Reflecting on his experience, Fidel Shekupe, who clinched second place in the junior section,  expressed gratitude for the opportunity to showcase his skills and compete against formidable opponents. 

Emphasising chess’ unique ability to challenge mental and mathematical acumen, Shekupe highlighted the personal growth he experienced through the sport. 

He added that the championship offered a platform for him to showcase his skills while playing against other talented players. 

“I managed to excel at a sport I only began playing during the Covid-19 pandemic. I am proud of how I performed during this championship. I especially appreciate that chess is a sport that tests my mental and mathematical skills,” he said.

As the championships concluded, the NCF looks ahead to continued growth and development, particularly as they prepare the junior national chess team for the upcoming African Youth Chess Championships 2024 in South Africa from 15 to 23 June.

2024-05-15  Staff Reporter

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