Ninety-six players from as far as Stampriet, Mariental and Tsumeb recently took part in the October 2021 Chess Festival held at the Windhoek Show Grounds.
It was organised by local chess enthusiasts in partnership with the Namibia Chess Federation.
The aim of the tournament was to give players the opportunity to strengthen their international chess ratings, and give unrated players the opportunity to get International Chess Federation (FIDE) rating.
The only way to achieve this is to host FIDE-rated tournaments.
Organisers said the interest and participation was overwhelming.
“Over the board chess tournaments suffered greatly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the high number of participants indicated that players were eager to play the game of chess,” said one of the organisers, Juliet Beukes.
The festival consisted of three categories: two classical chess tournaments for all ages, and a rapid tournament for cadets (12 years and below).
The top three in each section were awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals, as well as prize money.
To encourage participation, the organisers also rewarded the best woman, best youth and best cadet in each section.
7 Round Rapid Tournament:
Seventeen players participated in this rapid tournament, and the winners are:
1 - Jacky Chen, who won with six points out of seven rounds (6/7).
2 - Kundo Mutengu tied with the winner (6/7), but ended second due to the first tie-break, which is a direct encounter. Mutengu only lost to Chen.
3 - Twamona Kaluvi – 5/7 rounds, the only player who secured a win against the overall winner.
Thirty-one players registered for the Swiss A classical tournament, and the winners are:
1 - Zhemba Jemusse (5/5)
2 - Candidate Master Dion Moyo (4/5); and only lost to Jemusse
3 - Apolinario Sozinho (3.5/5)
Best Woman - Kaino Itembu
Best Youth - Rafael Bulezi
No cadet participated in this section.
Fifty players registered for the Swiss B classical tournament, and the winners are:
1 - Revian Willemse (4.5/5)
2 - Colin Nyandoro (4.5/5), but came second due to the tie-breaks
3 - Gregory Kazekondjo (4/5)
Best Woman - WCM Lishen Mentile (4/5)
Best Youth - Henry Gaoseb (4/5)
Kazekondjo, Mentile and Gaoseb all tied with four points out of five rounds, but was separated by the tie-breaks.
Best Cadet - Sibusiso Angula (3.5/5)
The local organiser committee thanked the main sponsor, MNE Accounting Services CC, for their lucrative sponsorship, as well as Three Dimension Printing and Signs, and the Namibia Chess Federation for their contribution in making this tournament possible.
Meanwhile, the next tournament will be held this weekend. It is the 2021 Junior Closed Chess championships, and will take place at the Academia High School.