Hinda the chess whizz-kid is back

• By Michael Uugwanga

CHESS whizz-kid, 11-year-old Ottilie ‘Oyo’ Yorokee Hinda is back after a challenging two years caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that affected her chess progress.

The grade six pupil at St Paul’s College won her first tournament of the year at the weekend in the schools’ individual championship, which was a qualifying tournament for various schools in Namibia, of which she managed to tap into her experience as the women’s candidate master (WCM) and won all her games, walking away with a perfect score of 7/7 plus a gold medal.

In 2018, then eight-year-old Hinda became Africa’s youngest chess master after winning a gold medal at the African Youth Chess Championship in Kisumu, Kenya.

She received a rating of 1 800 for her performances which is to date an extraordinary feat for a girl her age.

The gold medal is still to date the only one for Namibia at the African Youth Chess Championship.

This week, Confidente had an interview with the confident, young Hinda, who said that she is ready to participate in bigger competitions this year and challenge for top honours.

“I have been low in the chess circles due to the Covid-19 pandemic which banned contact sports in the past two years. Occasionally, I play chess with my coach (Max Nitzborn), but for the better part of the pandemic I was inactive.

“As a result I was unable to participate in international tournaments and gain rating points which was my short-term goal.

“This year I am aiming to participate in various local tournaments such as the Namibian Open, Okahandja Open and Keetmanshoop Open. I am passionate about the Keetmanshoop Open because Keetmanshoop is my hometown. Before Covid-19 restrictions, I managed to participate in three Keetmanshoop Open tournaments.

“I also want to inspire children of my age to join the sport of chess, because it serves as good mental stimulation,” she said.

Hinda is currently on the books of the Maximum Chess Academy under the auspices of Nitzborn who has been her coach since she was five.

Besides being a top chess player, Hinda is also developing into a top inline hockey as she is included in the country’s junior development inline hockey team that is scheduled to tour Detroit in the United States of America in July this year.

“I am managing well in balancing chess and inline hockey, while school is a challenge because it calls for great discipline. I am currently in the Namibian junior development team that will go on tour to the State War roller hockey games in Detroit, USA in July 2022,” said Hinda.