By Tribbie Nashe Motsi – 10th October 2011
Zimbabwe Chess Federation (ZCF) organised Bulawayo Chess Grand prix that was held at Eveline Girls High- Great Hall in the City of Kings (Bulawayo) on the 8th and 9th October 2011.This is in line with ZCF motto and theme ”taking/bringing chess to the people". It was a Swiss seven rounds rapid tournament with time controls of 30minutes per player.
Mr Elton Mhangarayi was the tournament director though he participated. The arbiters-cum-players were ZCF officials, Reuben Muza and Clive Mpambela . I would like to thank them for a job well done as this was the most organised tournament ever. The officials sticked to the programme and there was smooth flow of things i.e. suffient resources boards, clocks, also pairing and results schedules were done timeously.
There was a low turn out of the local chess players. Some were not even aware of the tournament & got to know about it on the last minute, what a farce it is! The current candidates champion Castro Sibanda a Buwalayo resident could not take part due to personal commitments only to appear on the last day. Doctor Humphery Chituri, Doctor Chagonda, Moses Mutiforo, Thabang Moyo, Dalisizwe, Lungiselelo Ndlovu, Brighton Dalubuhle and Bheki Bayani to mention but a few, did not make it. Most players who took part were from Harare. Among these were the Glen Norah gunners: Gwaze, Heath Darare, Bismark Bhobhojani, Byron Gurajena, Brighton Joshua, Spencer Masango (Spoon-man). Other players from Harare: Farirai Gumbe, Anyway Zhuwau, Lewis Kahoba, Gift Sithole, Elisha Thabov, Anesu Masimba, Tatenda Melissa Zengeni (Tasty Polgar), and yours truly. Farirai Masanganise (Mukoma), Hamilton Mandeya (Buddha), Edmund Mpofu (Bhudhi) – a newly wed was probably still at the honeymoon and Lloyd Moyo could not make it to Bulawayo. Veteran player and Botswana based Mr. Jona Chaka did not manage to attend.
In his opening speech the ZCF president Mr. Charles T Kuwaza thanked the Moyos who provided the venue and helped in the organisation of the tournament. These are Mr. Joseph Moyo, Ms Idah Moyo Eveline School matron, Mrs Moyo,Eveline Girls High School headmistress and resident staff Mr. Zarima & Mr. Jairos Muza.
Top 3 players from Team Zimbabwe that took part in the recent All Africa games namely Gwaze, Spencer and Dion Moyo who travelled from Botswana. It is interesting to note that two weeks ago Dion came 2nd at Botswana International Open Chess tournament after the eventual winner IM Daniel Jere of Zambia. South African based Brighton Mthunzi came late and joined in the third round to score 5 points! That made him joint 5th and won the best local player prize!!
This tournament was quite interesting and fierce battles erupted from round one through round seven. The major upset was in the 6th round where Dion Moyo (Zim National Champ 2010) succumbed to the deadly blow of Gift Sithole. In their game Dion sacrificed a piece for two pawns & was unable to follow through the sacrifice. Sithole soon took advantage of this and managed to diffuse the attack eventually brought home the bacon!Dion had previously lost to Spencer Masango in round 4 and miraclously won a completely lost round 7 game against Brighton Joshua. Joshua outplayed Dion in the opening and middlegame, created two passed pawns only to put his rook in the same final as Dion’s without any protection and realising this blunderous move, Joshua immediately resigned! Dion was in poor form struggled to play in most of his games.
Spencer Masango and Lewis Kahoba continued their rivalry encounters and this time Kahoba had a superior position out of the opening but went astray only to settle for a draw in time trouble. Another war erupted between the gunners, Heath and Byron only to end in a draw game. Some games of interest were between Anand and the policeman Bradley Adonis, they had a Knight versus Bishop endgame and the policeman prevailed.Heath lost having blundered a Knight in the endgame in his game against Elisha Chimbamu in the fifth round. Gwaze -Spencer was yet another interesting game that caught the attention of veteren chess player Ronald Chimanzi.
Mr. Ronald Chimanzi who is now living in Bulawayo was a celeb at this event because of his great sense of humour. There is no love lost between Chimanzi and chess and the guy has an eye for good moves after a decade of silence. He congratulated IM Robert Gwaze on his recent achievemets. Chimanzi said " Makorokoto Gwaze shasha yetsoro yechaturanga wakatora menduru ye goridhe" in Shona roughly translated "Congratulations Gwaze, you are a chess genius who scooped a gold medal". He shared his knowledge of the game, a brief Zimbabwe chess history and also gave some advice to young and upcoming players like Thabov and Anand. Chimanzi says it’s difficult to make a living through chess in Africa so one has to be careful and focus on personal development and not allow chess to steal their valuable time! Mr Chimanzi also announced his come back after a decade-long break. He said that candidates 2012 is going to be his first tournament. Another veteran player & blitz master who is currently in hibernation, Mr Joseph Mwanza showed up at the event. He followed a few games before disappearing.
Former University Of Zimbabwe (UZ) student & also a practising medical doctor Ricky Malaba had a fierce battle with yours truly in the second round in a complex position that rose from Sicilian Moscow variation and eventually lost. He lost yet another tough fight against Dion Moyo. He then drew his sixth game against Anesu Masimba popularly called Anand in a very sharp game. Dr Malaba had to sacrifice a rook for a bishop to equalise. He scored 4 points and came joint 11th
Another former UZ student and a professional lawyer based in Bulawayo Mr. Russel Dzete had a controversial game against Farirai Gumbe. The arbiters awarded them a draw.This was followed with yet another dispute between Simon Bare and yours truly in which a draw was also awarded according to the arbiters’ judgment.
Four ladies took part in this tournament. Tatenda Zengeni who recently won the UZ Ladies Open tournament, Nicole Mpambela , Sinikiwe Sibanda (Mr Mhangarayi’s fiancee’) and Precious Gurure a third year Journalism student at the National University Of Science and Technology (NUST) battled it out with men and boys! Tatenda garnered 3.5 points to take the best lady prize and the rest of the ladies scored 3 points. Nicole Mpambela, a 11 year old daughter of the ZCF official Mr. Clive Mpambela scooped the 2nd best lady prize, as this was not enough she won the 2nd best scholar and 2nd best under 14 awards and to cap this achievement she won youngest player prize. Nicole’s brother Lawrence Mpambela won the best under 14 prize. Anesu Masimba won the best scholar prize.
International Master (IM) Robert Gwaze who came back recently from World Chess cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia & All Africa Games Maputo Mozambique where he won a Gold medal in chess on board one ran riot. He was playing on board one and all his games were decisive except for his last encounter with the Chartered Accountant Mr. Gift Sithole as this was enough to secure the first place . "Robby-G" as Robert is called, was a full point ahead of the pack. The chess preparation that missed the Ex-FIDE champion, GrandMaster Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine who turned 28 years this week seems to be giving Robert Gwaze a milage in chess in the local scene. After the last round Gwaze had some blitz games in which exhibited great chess opening skills & understanding. He then analysed his world cup games and explained what happened in his first game and last game against Ponomariov. There were so many ideas and lines he analysed with fellow chess players till the prize giving ceremony.
Joint second was Elisha Chimbamu, Gift Sithole, Heath Darare with 5.5 points. South African based Brighton Mthunzi & the Botswana based Dion Moyo were joint 5th with 5 points. Five people scored 4.5 points & tied on 7th only separated by Bucholz namely: Spencer, Byron, Junior Ndlovu, Bismark & Anyway Zhuwau. Another pack of 4 points followed Brighton Joshua,Dr. Rickie Malaba, Elisha Thabov, Anand Masimba, tournament director Elton Mhangarayi,and yours truly.
In his closing remarks Mr Kuwaza acknowledged the presence of Mr. Chimanzi and appreciated the beauty of the City of Kings. He visited Matopo to see Cecil John Rhodes’ tomb and also Khami Ruins. He announced that the next tournament is Harare grand prix to be held in Harare in November 2011. This will be used as preparation for ZIM International Open 2012. Photos will be posted soon.
Lastly, its my pleasure to announce that the directors of Chess Corner are organising Jervous Kampinya memorial chess tournament to be held in Harare on 17 & 18 December 2011. Keep watching the space for more information and finer details.
About the writer –Tribbie Tapiwanashe Motsi is the Marketing Executive of Chess Corner Africa. An active organization in the development of Chess in Zimbabwe, Africa and a leading chess equipment supplier!