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Youngsters dominate blitz chess champs

2024-06-21  Staff Reporter

Youngsters dominate blitz chess champs

The Namibia Chess Federation (NCF) recently held a fast-paced and action-filled 2024 Bank Windhoek rapid and national blitz championships at the Jan Möhr Secondary School in Windhoek.

A total of 50 senior and young male players competed in the open section of the rapid (15 minutes) and blitz events (five minutes), while 11 senior and young female players battled it out in the women’s section on Saturday and Sunday.

The youngest players were seven-year-old Jaden Katokele in the open section and eight-year-olds Ndapewa Nakakuwa and Anna Moongo.

NCF chief arbiter McLean Handjaba said although the matches were competitive, the young players did not allow the older ones to dominate. 

“Chess matches became exciting from round five on Saturday, when 16-year-old Pomwene Haipinge defeated the reigning champion, 24-year-old Heskiel Ndahangwapo, in a tactical masterpiece,” Handjaba said.

In the blitz event on Sunday, 12-year-old Kaino Moongo defeated the University of Namibia’s women’s champion Helvi Shuudifonya in round five of the women’s section, in what looked like a game between peers.  

As the matches unfolded, both veteran candidate masters and senior participants completed their games with the best finish of fifth place on Saturday and Sunday in the open section, which placed them below their much younger and less experienced opponents.

National master Ndahangwapo, who was first crowned Namibian national champion in 2023, and women’s national master Lutopu Khoa, who was first crowned as women’s national Blitz champion in 2023, were registered as the highest-rated rapid players at this year’s Bank Windhoek 2024 national rapid championship.

Following their successful first-place finishes, Ndahangwapo and Khoa were recognised as the women’s and men’s national champions at the national championship in March. 

Ndahangwapo and Khoa are now national chess champions in classical, rapid and blitz chess.

Handjaba said the two champions showed up ready and more prepared than their counterparts in all three tournaments this year. 

“Ndahangwapo and Khoa are now officially the most decorated chess players in Namibia, having achieved national champion titles in all three-time control categories,” he said.

2024-06-21  Staff Reporter

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