Namibia’s junior chess team gave a decent account of themselves at the recently concluded African Youth Chess Championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The championship, which has grown in leaps and bounds over the years, saw Namibia’s 34 junior players competing against some of the continent’s top junior chess players. In total, the competition attracted more than 300 players from 14 countries, who competed in six age groups (from Under-8’s to Under-18’s) over nine rounds.
In most age groups, Team Namibia faced hurdles against some of the continent’s chess powerhouses, such as South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Algeria and Egypt. There was some success though for Namibia in the Under-14 category, as one of the country’s most promising juniors, Dante Beukes, delivered an impressive performance to finish 5th overall – ahead of compatriot Kevin Gurirab and Algeria’s Adrar Sofiane.
According to the head of the Namibian delegation from Namibia Chess Federation (NCF) sub-committee, Melitta Kgobetsi-Mathe, who accompanied the team to South Africa: “Namibian junior chess players have improved rapidly over the past years and soon we’ll seriously compete in continental tournaments, as opposed to just participating. The odds were stacked against the team, but the trip was a success.”
South Africa and Algeria top the log standings, as the two countries dominated all age groups.
Team Namibia’s participation in this year’s African Youth Chess Championship was made possible with the generous sponsorship of Namsov, Elgin Brown & Hummer, Old Mutual, Cenored and B2Gold Mine.