Chess Grand Prix takes off

The first of the Bank Windhoek Grand Prix International Chess Federation (Fide) rated town opens started at Okahandja. Photo: Contributed

The recent Okahandja Open marked a historic moment for Namibian chess as the groundbreaking International Chess Federation(Fide)-rated Bank Windhoek Grand Prix got underway.

Hosted by Okahandja Secondary School, the event saw a vibrant gathering of 40 participants from diverse backgrounds and skill levels, setting the stage for an exciting series that promises to reshape the chess landscape in Namibia.

Introducing Fide ratings added an international flavour to the competition, allowing participants to establish their presence on the global chess stage.

Namibia Chess Federation president Goodwill Khoa says the Okahandja Open was more than just a chess tournament.

“It was a declaration of chess’ growing influence and inclusivity in Namibia. The top 10 games from the event were meticulously recorded, providing players a tangible record of their strategic triumphs and the opportunity to analyse and learn from their matches,” he says.

One of the standout features of the Okahandja Open was the remarkable performance of locals who displayed exceptional skills by defeating seasoned players and even Fide-rated opponents.

Khoa says this underscored the depth of talent in regions beyond the capital, Windhoek, and demonstrated that Namibia’s chess prowess is not confined to a specific geographical area.

The success of the Okahandja Open marked the commencement of the 18-leg Towns/City Open.

This series will unfold in selected locations across Namibia on specified dates.

“This ambitious initiative by Bank Windhoek is set to engage and inspire chess enthusiasts in various regions, fostering a sense of healthy competition and collaboration,” Khoa says.

The Bank Windhoek Grand Prix is not just a series of standalone tournaments.

This comprehensive chess journey allows players to accumulate points throughout the year. Players can earn points by participating in the town opens, contributing to their standing in the Grand Prix Series.

“The ultimate reward awaits at the end of the year when the Grand Prix Series concludes, and the overall winners are celebrated for their outstanding performances,” Khoa says.

As the Grand Prix unfolds across Namibia, each town and city will become a chess battleground, and players will have the chance to leave their mark on the country’s chess legacy.

“The Okahandja Open was just the beginning – a prelude to the grand symphony of chess that will resonate across Namibia through the Bank Windhoek Grand Prix,” Khoa says.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News