The Bank Windhoek Namibian Open Chess Championships conclude

Supported by Bank Windhoek, the Namibia Chess Federation (NCF) hosted the Bank Windhoek 2024 Namibian Open Chess Championships at the Windhoek Country Club from Wednesday, 8 May, until Sunday, 12 May 2024. With 100 participants competing in classical chess games, the championships made history by introducing four sections with more prizes for participants.

In celebration of 100 years of establishing the International Chess Federation (FIDE), this event welcomed local and international chess professionals to test their skills and compete against international masters. Participants competed in the National Senior Men and Women and the Junior Boys and Girls teams in preparation for upcoming international participation.

As the Championships unfolded, the NCF witnessed outstanding performances from players in the newly added Junior and Veteran sections alongside the traditional Open and Women's Sections.

NCF President Goodwill Khoa said a highlight of this year's championship was the return of the International Master and former African champion Robert Gwaze from Zimbabwe, along with the debut of the Women's International Master Esperanca Caxita from Angola. “Their presence added a new level of competition, allowing local talents from Namibia to test their skills against renowned masters. Predictably, Gwaze and Caxita, who are the highest-rated and titled players, dominated in their sections, each securing a perfect score of seven points out of seven games,” he said. Khoa added that the event welcomed an international arbiter, Chanda Nsakanya from Zambia, to enhance the overall quality of the championship.

Bank Windhoek's sponsorship provided 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.

Landing in second place for the Junior section, Fidel Shekupe, who began playing at nine years old, said 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 Bank Windhoek 2024 Namibian Open Chess Championships concluded, the Namibia Chess Federation looks forward to its continued growth. The championship served as essential training for the Junior National Chess Team, who are gearing up for the upcoming African Youth Chess Championships 2024 in South Africa from Saturday, 15 June to Sunday, 23 June 2024.


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