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Young chessers battle for a chair at national championship

Young chessers battle for a chair at national championship

Kevin Gurirab battling Keisha van Wyk  in a formidable chess match to determine which players qualify for the National Closed Chess Championship in May.

The Independence long weekend provided the ideal opportunity for serious young chess players to find a spot in the qualifier list for the upcoming national championship.

Ten men and eight women players qualified for the nationals following a 9-round Qualifying tournament held in Windhoek over Independence.

“This is a new format we’re trying out pitting the best against the best,” stated the public relations officer of the Namibian Chess Federation, Nyazika. “All the players are excited about the new make-up as it brings out the best out of them. There are no more so-called easy games.”

For the upcoming national championship, this first qualifying group will battle it out in an all-play-all competition.

Each player in the national championship receives a special tie with the words “2017 Chess Maestro” distinguishing them from the rest of Namibia’s chess players. Each player will also receive a small appearance fee.

In the Independence Qualifying tournament, national champion Charles Eichab won the Men’s Section ahead of Dante Beukes with Goodwill Khoa in third place. The rest of the players are Max Nitzborn, William Kamberipa, Clarence Campbell, Toivo Nangula, Jossy Uapingene, Sanders Oberholzer and Matjiua Kajovi.

In the Women’s Section, national champion Lishen Mentile scored a perfect 9 wins from 9 games, with Kamutuua Tjatindi and Patience Tsuses second and third.

Unlike their male counterparts, only 8 women were chosen. The rest of the group comprises Keisha van Wyk, Taisha Uiras, Penandjambi Tjipueja, Lure Horn and Jamie-Nicole Beukes.

Chess Federation president Otto Nakapunda assumed the role of FIDE Arbiter for both tournaments which enabled the event to be FIDE-rated.

“We have finally reached our destination with regards to getting ratings. All players who took part now have FIDE IDs and they will all get ratings. Even our local raitngs system is now functional,” announced the federation’s Ratings Officer, Max Nitzborn adding that the new ratings will be published regularly.

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