Vasily Papin. From Windhoek to Batumi.

02 декабря 2018


 Namibia. A country located in the south-Western part of Africa. During the struggle for its independence and liberalisation from the colonial yoke, it received selfless fraternal international assistance also from the Soviet Union. Each spent year removes the living from those historical heroic events, the participants of which were selfless patriots – Namibians and fearless soldiers-internationalists from many fraternal republics of the Soviet Union. The events go into the history and their participants – to the eternity. But there is a memory that is connecting and strengthening the friendship between our countries and people inhabiting them with the invisible thread,



making it possible to feel the breath of history, 



to see the people’s faces who sacrificed their lives for the independence of the country, 




for the freedom of oppressed and enslaved.



The shackles are dropped, the chains are broken. The new Constitution of Namibia, which guarantees the Freedom and Independence of the state, and happiness to all people on earth is proclaimed. For having the complete happiness of all people, it takes time, patience and selfless work, and not just a desire to get it here and now. 


Chess players are not an exception. Especially the national teams of men and women. 


Now I will tell you about the days spent with both national chess teams in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia…



Under our wing of the plane the ever-green sea of taiga is always singing about something… Here is the yellow ocean of the Kalahari Desert. It is not up to the songs. Huge waves of the dunes, raising dust till the sky, blocking eyes, mouth and ears.



Successfully overcoming the space and you find yourself in Namibia.



 On the bright posters that welcome you, one can see the beautiful picturesque local women. 



But in ordinary street life the colours are much brighter, and the women are more beautiful and colourful.



It is here, in the trading rows of Windhoek, the world fashion is born, and here the foreign fashion designers get their inspiration and ideas, so that later in Paris at the fashion show to demonstrate their latest models which are the daily clothes of the women of the Himba tribe.



Mclean Handjaba was sent by the national team to meet me and has reported that the teams are ready and already waiting for the coach in the playing hall.



Someone has a direct road from the ship to the ball, as for me – to the practice. No ball can compare to the training. Especially if it is a blitz. Members of the national team. Lishen Mentile.



Jolly Nepando.



Morning. But not in the pine forest. But I have the feeling that somewhere in VDNH (Note: VDNH is a unique historical and architectural complex located in the capital of Russia – Moscow).




Comrade in a cap. De Gaulle, not de Gaulle… But General for sure. 



And next to it the hotel ‘Cosmos’. Kind of obsession. But if ‘Cosmos’ then it should be ‘Aeroflot’, the children’s ‘Botvinnik Cup’… Meetings with Alexandr Bakh and Mark Glukhovsky



And the meetings took place. But with Otto Nakapunda who was a Head of the Chess Federation of Namibia for many years and still actively takes part in the modern life of the Namibian Chess



And his successor, the current President of the Chess Federation of Namibia Israel Shilongo.



Every year the number of those who wants to play chess is increasing in the capital.



In Namibia there is a Chess Club League, which includes the Premier League (10 teams with 4 players/each) and the first division (8 teams with 4 participants/each). They play round robin tournament in two circles with a time control of 75 minutes plus 30 seconds per move starting from the first move. Games are held on Mondays.



There is also a junior league (6 teams with 4 participants in each team)



Almost all members of the national team play in the Premier League.



And there are much more people willing to play for clubs than places in the clubs.



Clarence Campbell. He plays on the first board in the team of ‘Academy of Rubinshtein’.



As in the entire chess world the young chess players are not uncommon in the Premier League and in the first division



Rauha Shipindo is not only a chess player but a lawyer.



Kuhanga Fremantle.



Dante Beukes, the current vice-champion of Namibia.



Jamie-Nicole, the sister of Dante. She considers, implying herself, that the second champion will be nice.



Someone thinks that one champion in the family is enough.



When it is hot or cold the ears of the players are warmed up with tested and tried by more than one generation of Namibians the Soviet ear-flaps hat, especially if they are with the stars. But the IM Robert Gwaze from Zimbabwe, who is living now in Namibia, only dreams about it.



One of the leaders of the local chess community Brian Jafta cannot boast of having such exotic hat with ear-flaps and therefore he wears the local one.



The roads are fabulous. Along it there are palm trees with coconuts. Silence…



The conditions for the training are comfortable. Although the demonstration board is not from ‘Rosneft’ company, but it is quite suitable for all sorts of tasks, sketches and puzzles, played and not-yet-played chess games.




Everyone should be prepared for the lessons. Answer loudly and essentially at the board



And with a smile, pleasing the coach and the colleagues with the deep knowledge.




So does Lishen Mentile!



But sometimes the swimming in the shallow water happens.



And then, one has the push-ups following the advanced technique of Vladimir Potkin.



As always and everywhere else, the break is valued the most in the classroom. After all, it means tea, and coffee, and cookies, and nuts.



‘Look and envy…!’ the words of the great proletarian poet Vladimir Mayakovski haven’t lost its relevance in our days. After the training with the women national team.



The capital. No traffic. Cleanliness and tidiness.



In Russia T-34 is used for military purposes, in Namibia, T-79 is exclusively in peaceful purposes.



The Chess Club ‘Capablanca’. Here they teach chess from the heart. The lessons are given by the many times champion of Namibia, member of the country’s national team Charles Eichab.



Everybody is happy to welcome the guest from Russia. The sweet and juicy gift still left for him.



And what could be better than a gift from the heart. Therefore, we will act as a single team, like three musketeers in four during the session with the members of the club.



The traditional greetings of the rivals.



Ready to fight!



Well, what would I do without my assistants? They will indicate the time, 



and prompt in due time.



Therefore, our victory was unconditional.



The game is over, but the club life goes on.



Apart from the club there is a ‘Rubinstein Academy’ in the capital, where the lessons are given by Mclean Handjaba, and patronizes by Israel Shilongo.




Children are the same everywhere. And they have one psychology. If you sit down next one, 



another will be sad.





They think over,






and turn away resentfully…



That’s why, you need to pay attention to each



and to all of them.



‘Club’, ‘Academy’, everything goes incrementally. So, the next stop is ‘Mega’ (i.e. name of the shopping mall in Moscow), the biggest mall of Namibia



Where the meeting with the chess lovers and the simul session took place.



The joy is brought not only by the game itself, but also by the preparation for it.



Warming up on the table



and at the table.




Finally, all players sat down at the festive table 



and I started the chess marathon.




In the ordinary marathon there are 42 km 195 meters,



In the chess one – 40 opponents.



If the kilometres remain the same, the rivals are various. Big and



small ones.



Thus, the groups of the consultants and supporters are small



and big.



Those who are sit, got tired fast. They are the first to leave the battlefield. Behind them slowly are tailing the rest.



Well, the last game is finished. The marathon is over.



These young guys have been fighting worthily and I managed to play a draw with them.



The final marathon result is 38:2. This time the victory was on the side of the national team coach.



According to the tradition, the major victories are always celebrating in the local market ‘Single Quarters’.




Here, they will fry, steam and boil for you. The only thing you need – a desire.



Initially, I had a desire. But looking closer at how it is prepared,



I decided that self-service system is better. The team has approved my decision.



This is what we got at the end. Of course, there was a little joy. But we didn’t throw it away.




And if it is sprinkled with black pepper, pour with mustard, horseradish sauce and salsa, and mixed it with the grated cheese, then you will hardly find the dish being so tasty and so unhealthy at the same time around the world.



Getting late. It means that the team will have a daily evening workout in the gym.



Still full of energy… physical one.



But running



strength exercises and 



push-ups reduce strength to zero.



And only the willpower will bring you to the finish,



 where, out of nowhere, the forces appear again.



After all, we have classes in the fresh air.



Of course, according to the advanced methodology of Vladimir Potkin, training camps must end up with repeated (two-time) pull-ups. But there is no strength to pull-up but also just to hang.



Therefore, we follow the popular technique of Alexander MotylevSwing as an effective means of the development of vestibular apparatus and combat from the dizziness from success’. Here the training camp was completed. Ahead if the Chess Olympiad in Batumi. 



But the fans and the chess community remain in place, in anticipation of the historic Olympic victories of the national teams. The brief report on the readiness for the upcoming battles and a forecast for a favourable outcome.



If you want all wishes and the forecast come true, on behalf of the chess community the magic t-shirt, 



magic ring 



and treasured notebook were solemnly presented. 



Champagne for everyone! For the national team and its success!



Farewells are always difficult. After all, I want to say a lot and to wish as well.



You need to listen to everyone and to thank them. After all, the fans have a considerable strength of the team too. 



Before going to the long and dangerous journey, according to the good old chess tradition, the team sat for a moment before the leaving. 



The sitting was not long, especially with a farewell drink. The command sounded: ‘Saddle up’!



Without waiting for a second command, 



 jumping on the horses,



saying good bye to the native land,



 promising to come back on the horse and with a shield,



the squad of the national team of Namibia left well in advance for the far and beautiful Georgia with a final stop in Batumi. 



And the fact that on the way there will be unexpected and dangerous meetings, this will only strengthen the spirit and harden the body in fight against these dangers!






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