Kefas Shipi Elago
Oshakati-Chess is rapidly growing in popularity among youth in the northern part of the country, as the mind game appears to have captured the imagination of many scholars from that neck of the woods.
With this particular development project on the horizon, the Namibia Chess Federation in conjunction with the Namibia School Sport Union, hosted a regional chess tournament for schools in the vast Oshana region to select a regional team for that national competitions later this year.
Chairperson for Chess in Oshana, Priscilla Matsi, expressed her excitement with the growing number of entries at this year’s tournament, adding that the gathering attracted a record number of entries from various schools in the region.
Learners aged between 11 and 16 from Gabriel Taapopi SS, Charles Andreson, Kabatana Private School, Oshakati SS and Liberty Private School, on Saturday gathered at Oshana national library hall for a one-day showpiece to compete for places in the regional team.
“This competition on its own is part of the ongoing chess development programme in the region. The ultimate idea is to sensitise schools to grab this opportunity and expose their learners to the beautiful game of chess,” enthused Matsi.
Furthermore, Matsi said they are faced with many challenges ranging from insufficient funds, and inadequate equipment and standardised chess boards.
“The game of chess helps children to develop their cognitive ability, which is essential to academic excellence. It’s a non-contact sport therefore kids develop good interpersonal skills.
“I would therefore like to urge parents in the Oshana region to bring their kids to us so that we can introduce them to chess, the only sporting game played with minds.”
Michael Dumbura from the Chess Federation said he is impressed with how chess has captured the imagination of the kids in the north and urged other regions in the country to follow suit.