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Grand Prix ignites Chess frenzy in Okahandja

Grand Prix ignites Chess frenzy in Okahandja

The Bank Windhoek Grand Prix recently launched its inaugural International Chess Federation (FIDE) Rated Town Opens with the thrilling Okahandja Open.

Held at Okahandja Secondary School, the event attracted a dynamic cohort of 40 participants spanning diverse backgrounds and skill levels, heralding the dawn of an electrifying series poised to revolutionize the chess scene.

The introduction of FIDE ratings injected an international dimension into the competition, enabling participants to make their mark on the global chess stage.

Goodwill Khoa, President of the Namibia Chess Federation, hailed the Okahandja Open as a watershed moment for chess in the country, transcending mere tournament status.

“It signifies the burgeoning influence and inclusivity of chess in Namibia,” Khoa remarked.

He emphasized the significance of meticulously recording the top ten games, providing players with tangible records of their strategic conquests and invaluable opportunities for post-game analysis and improvement.

A highlight of the Okahandja Open was the stellar performance of local talents, who showcased remarkable skills by outplaying seasoned competitors, including FIDE-rated adversaries. Khoa celebrated this as a testament to the depth of chess talent beyond Windhoek, dispelling the notion that Namibia’s chess prowess is confined to specific regions.

The triumph of the Okahandja Open marked the commencement of the 18-leg Towns/City Open series, slated to unfold across select locations in Namibia on designated dates. Khoa lauded Bank Windhoek’s ambitious initiative, envisioning it as a catalyst for igniting passion and camaraderie among chess enthusiasts nationwide.

More than a sequence of standalone tournaments, the Bank Windhoek Grand Prix offers a holistic chess journey, allowing players to accumulate points throughout the year. Participation in Town Opens contributes to players’ standings in the Grand Prix Series, culminating in the celebration of overall winners at the year’s end. “The Grand Prix Series promises the ultimate reward for exceptional performances,” Khoa affirmed.

As the Grand Prix sweeps across Namibia, each town and city transforms into a veritable chess arena, offering players the opportunity to etch their names into the annals of the country’s chess legacy.

“The Okahandja Open heralds the beginning of a grand symphony of chess that will resound throughout Namibia,” Khoa concluded, exuding optimism for the exciting journey ahead.


About The Author

Sport Contributor

The Economist does not have a dedicated sport reporter. This designation is used for several contributors who want their sport stories in the Economist. Experience has taught us that companies usually want their sport sponsorships published prominently, being the reason for a sports category. It now also carries general sport items but only those with direct Namibian relevance. - Ed.