Bank Windhoek, in collaboration with the Namibian Chess Federation, hosted the annual Kehat Beukes Memorial Chess Tournament in Swakopmund this past weekend. The event, staged at the Swakopmund Municipal Conference Centre, attracted a record number of 45 players, between the ages of six and forty years old. Participants competed in fierce chess battles comprising nine rounds.
Current National Youth Champion, Dante Beukes, was crowned the overall winner followed by Raphael Nyakansaila and Jossy Uapingene in second and third place respectively.
Rauha Mulisa won the Best Women Category, while Jamie-Nicole Beukes and Keisha Van Wyk occupied the remaining top two spots.
Manfredo !Gaoseb, Kevin Gurirab and Anthony Van Der Meer, won the top three places in the Youth Category, while Alexander Bertelsmann, Tristan Riedel and Lilian Jansen, walked away as the top three Best Cadets.
President of the Namibian Chess Federation, Charles Eichab said, “The level of competition was tough this year as each player came prepared to win. This made the tournament a huge success and congratulations to all the winners."
Eichab also thanked Bank Windhoek for the sponsorship and added that the Bank's support contributed to the sport's development over the years. “Bank Windhoek's sponsorship helps us to develop the standard of chess in Namibia. This relationship has yielded positive results," he said.
Dante Beukes, shared his passion for chess: “I started playing chess at school and I went on to join a club at a very young age. The game helps with problem solving and allows me to challenge my thinking."
As the highest ranked youth player in the country, Dante Beukes will be playing in the Africa Youth Championships taking place in Windhoek on Sunday, 15 December 2019. His aim is to win the Championship and become the first Namibian International Master, which is the second highest title on offer at his level. “To Bank Windhoek, we are thankful for this generous sponsorship, which allows us to play the sport we love," said Dante Beukes.
Rauha Mulisa, who received her Woman Fédération Internationale des Échec (FIDE) Masters in 2018, a title just above Woman Candidate Master in the women-only titles given by FIDE, said that she plans on making it to the chess Olympics in 2020 and would like to win an International Masters accolade, the highest in her category. “There are so many benefits to chess and we are glad that Bank Windhoek understands this," she said.
For !Gaoseb, the Bank Windhoek Kehat Beukes Memorial Chess Tournament was difficult but it was also fun and exciting. “The Bank's sponsorship motivated me to take part in this tournament and I am thankful. I am now ready to take part in African Youth Tournament this weekend," he said.
Overview of the Bank Windhoek Kehat Beukes Memorial Chess Tournament
Aimed at attracting the best Namibian chess players, especially the youth, the Bank Windhoek Kehat Beukes Memorial Chess Tournament is one of the oldest tournaments in the country. It was established in 1994 and was previously known as the Swakopmund International Chess Tournament organised by the late Keuhat Beukes. After his passing in 1999, the Namibian Chess Federation renamed the tournament in his honour.
Keuhat Beukes was one of Namibia's top surgeons, a chess enthusiast and later became the Namibian Chess Federation's President from 1994 until 1999.
“Chess is a game of skill which is over two-thousand years old. It has many benefits such as increasing mental capacity and problem solving skills, especially for children," concluded Eichab.