Cold fronts and freezing cold weather conditions in the capital could not stop chess crazed junior players from taking part in the 2015 National Chess Closed Championship held in the capital early July. All participants at this event had to first travel to the coastal town of Walvis Bay for the annual Junior Open Chess Championship in order to qualify for the Junior Closed in Windhoek.
Players came from as far as Keetmanshoop, Swakopmund and Otjiwarongo to battle it off for top honors in the capital in arduous cold and freezing temperatures in a 6 round long swiss-paired tournament which carried on for two days.
A new age group champion was crowned in each section with top rank being awarded to the overall winner in the U20 segment – this section saw the 2014/2015 Junior Open and Junior Closed winner, Immanuel Gariseb once again defended his title with an unbeaten streak of 6/6.
Overall winners in all 7 age groups excluding the Under 20 section from this event all qualified to carry the Namibian flag high as they contest against other African teams in Botswana at the 2015 Africa Schools Individual Championship scheduled for 21st -30th August 2015 at Oasis Motel in Gaborone.
One of the parents escorting the team to Gaborone Ephraim Jane much-admired this enterprise of the Namibia Chess Federation together with the Namibia Sports Commission to have juniors competing with the best in Africa at such events, however he pointed out that, “Mere participation alone is not enough, our own children need to start bringing home silverware as well.” Meanwhile, the head national coach, Charles Eichab alludes that the team is at present undergoing training and will be ready to compete come the 21st of August.
The team to represent the country is made up of the following players; Oberholzer Emma U/8, Bertelsman Alexander U/8, Ferreira Maralike U/10, Jane Galeshewe U/10, Van Wyk Keisha U/12, Beukes Dante U/12, Tsuses Patience U/14, Van Der Meer Anthony U14, Calitz Lida-Marie U/16, Kamazembua Himumuine U16 and Tjaronda Nicola U18. Only players 17 years old and younger are certified at this tournament and hence the Under 20 juniors will regrettably not be accompanying the team.