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By: Justicia Shipena and Julia Heita

The National Chess team scooped second place at the ongoing 2021 online Chess Olympiad.

The team progresses to division three after 11 rounds of play.

Charles Eichab, president of the Namibian Chess Federation said nine out of 11 in any normal tournament can easily win you first place.

“That is what this team scored in a team event. This could be our best score in a team event,” he explained.

Namibia chess team captain Milton Eiseb said preparation for over the board chess is much easier than preparing for an online event.

“Namibia was blessed to get Green Enterprise Solutions (Pty) Ltd as a sponsor to assist with the venue and internet quality.

“We had players in remote areas representing us from North who had to use they own bandwidth,” he said.

According Eiseb, the chess team did well as they needed to get to position three to qualify to the next division.

“We ended up taking second place behind Kenya,” he said.

He added that was despite a lack of chess tournaments during the last two years in Namibia. The chess league will resume today.

Ranked 130 in the Fide World rankings, Namibia has less than seven Namibians who are rated 2000+.

Eiseb conveyed that youth development and the importance of chess for educational purposes are paramount to the overall improvement of the standard of chess in the country.

“I must say that over the last few years, we have been improving vastly. Namibia now has the Title of International Master in Dante Beukes, who we think will be the first Grandmaster for Namibia,” Eiseb explained.

According to him for Namibia to achieve that it needs support financially.

“You can only achieve that through partaking in tournaments where grandmasters partake.”

Chess queen Lishen Mentile said every opportunity to represent her country on the world map is memorable.

“Obviously it comes with its ups and downs. Some games you lose and others you win,” she said.

Mentile said the sport culture is not given enough opportunity and recognition.

“Chess should be one of those sport which each school should have to give kids from a young age for an opportunity to hop on,” she said.

She further said sport on a national level should be treated as a profession.

“This way the sport culture will definitely grow and become stronger in our country,” she explained.

The Namibian chess team is set to play in division three this coming weekend.

Justicia Shipena

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