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Annual Kehat Beukes Chess tournament slated for this weekend

by Rodney Pienaar

The Namibian Chess Federation will host the annual Kehat Beukes Memorial Chess tournament at the coastal town of Swakopmund this weekend.

The tournament is open to all professional senior and junior chess players. This year’s tournament is expected to attract more than 80 players, the main organiser and chess champion Charles Eixab told The Villager. 

“This tournament does not have categories and it is open to all. You are choosing to play whomever is on the list but towards the end of the tournament we look at how we can divide age groups. We are doing this because chess is a mind game and even younger players might be sharper than matured players that is why we make it annual open tournament in the first place,” Eixab said.

 He said that the tournament is not all about competition but fun, adding that this will also be an opportunity for players to improve their skills by playing outside of categories.

The Kehat Beukes tournament is a celebratory tournament of the late Dr. Kehat Beukes who was Namibia’s first black specialist and also president of the Namibia Chess Federation. Beukes founded the tournament in 1994 which was formerly called the Swakopmund International Chess tournament and was renamed after his death. 

The tournament will have a 9 round Swiss system and the rate of play will be 25 minutes per player with 3 seconds increment per move starting from move one. 

“Chess enhances focus. It is geometrically beautiful and teaches concepts among young children which is the basis for all mathematical training. It trains calculations, ability to see things through other’s eye, sharpens intuition and develops countless behavioral skills,” Eixab said. 

He added that the tournament has attracted many Namibians in the past and many Namibians have thereafter registered with the federation to be part of the thinking sport. 

Bank Windhoek is the main sponsor of the tournament and put down N$17 000 for this year’s tournament.

The entry fee for senior players is N$50, for juniors N$30 and non-NCF members is N$60. The closing date for entries is this Thursday. Late registration will cost each player N$100.