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Chess is life

2022-04-27  Paheja Siririka

Chess is life

A fervent coach always ensures the team excels to their optimum best.

Matjiua Kajovi (27), is one such coach. Just recently, he helped St. George’s College win the schools team competition of the national chess championships hosted by the Namibia Chess Federation.

The NUST sports management student has been coaching chess officially since 2015, and has since established his apprenticeship programme, which he intends on turning into an academy. 

“I have no specific audience because I believe chess is for everyone. If I had to target, I would target everyone. However, children playing chess from an early age exhibit extraordinary memory skills,” Kajovi told Youth Corner.

He said working with the little ones generates a good feeling because he does not only teach them chess, but life skills in general too, and seeing them grow older is amazing.

He established Kajovi Chess Coaching (KCC) in 2019 when Emanuel Sihlahla sponsored KCC with 20 chess sets and a demo board, something that he is forever grateful for. For now, KCC only coaches chess at the Holy Cross Convent Primary School, St George’s Primary School, St George’s College, Windhoek International School and All Nations Christian School.

Kajovi developed a passion for chess after his sister Dessy Tjozongoro-Kasaona introduced him to the game in 2004. The hunger to learn more was further fuelled when he joined Tals Weekend Chess Academy under coach Max Nitzborn three years later. 

“I couldn’t wait to excel at chess because the passion for coaching has always been within me. A lot goes through my mind when coaching chess,” he beamed. 

Kajovi said chess has elements of life in the game, whilst benefitting mental clarity and dexterity, which is required for solving problems, analysing consequences and formulating future tactics. 

“The benefits of learning and playing chess are just phenomenal, and many educators can attest to that. Not to forget, chess is beautiful; it’s life,” he highlighted.

Chess further improves concentration, pattern recognition, decision-making, algebraic and geometric thinking, problem-solving, spatial reasoning, critical thinking as well as enhances self-confidence and self-worth.

Aihe Johannes (18), a grade 12 learner at St. George’s College, told Youth Corner that Kajovi is dedicated and committed.

“As the cliché goes: ‘Hard work always beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’, and with coach Kajovi, we learned that to improve in chess, you just have to practice more and more with it like anything else in life,” he added.

2022-04-27  Paheja Siririka

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