By Munyaradzi Arigundia& Tribbie Tapiwanashe Motsi
Date 20 December 2011
International Chess Master Robert Gwaze won the inaugural Jervous Kampinya Memorial chess tournament that was held at Blakiston School in Harare Zimbabwe. The event was organisedand sponsored by Chess Corner Africa. It is this year’s final tournament, a warm up to the Zimbabwe International Open Chess Tournament 2012 to be held in a week’s time. The overall winner as is the norm nowadays was Robert Gwaze piping Spencer Masango for the first place on tiebreak.
Chess Corner is registered organisation formed in 2011 by Reuben Salimu (Executive Director) and Tribbie Motsi (Marketing Executive). http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chess-Corner/169261013133101
http://www.designworld.co.zw/chess/ website link still under construction though
Chess Corner Africa’s main mission is to develop and promote Chess in Africa through organising tournaments, provision of affordable equipment as well as taking chess to grassroots levels especially in Zimbabwe. The directors are currently working on various initiatives in Southern Africa. Among the projects is reviving the Chess league in Zimbabwe, promote chess in Schools, organise Chess memorials for the late players like Clever Kachere, Emmanuel Masimba, and Mebiyoti Munyukwi and also look into the welfare of top players.
This tournament being the first edition of its kind in Zimbabwe was held at Blakiston School on the 17th December 2011. It was a Swiss seven rounds rapid tournament with time controls of 15minutes per player and the first Zimbabwean tournament to appear on international Swiss server.
The tournament director was Tribbie Motsi and the Chief Arbiter was Arigundia Munyaradzi. The tournament was marred by a low turnout. This may be attributed to the fact that there was Africa Junior International tournament in Zambia where the likes of Farirai Gumbe, Joseph Moyo, Melzedeck Masimba and James Vhezha attended. Also in Zambia was Zimbabwe Chess Federation officials Clive Mpambela andRueben Muza whowere attendingthe arbiters seminar .Theymanaged topass thearbiter examsand are now FIDE Arbiters (FAs).
As usual the Glen Norah gunners who took part were Heath Darare, Bismark Bhobhojani, Spencer Masango, Robert Gwaze and John Chibvuri. Mr. John Chibvuri is also actively involved in the development and nurturing chess talent in Zimbabwe. He is the president of Glen Norah Knights Chess Academy. IM Robert Gwaze who came at the backdrop of having got a silver medal at the recently held annual sportsperson awards for the best sportsman of the year. Stephen Muzhingi winner of South Africa Comrades’ marathon scooped gold and United States based 21 year old Takanyi Garan’anga got bronze.Swimming sensation Kirsty Leigh Coventry scooped gold for the best sportswoman of the year. Takanyi is a young brother to a Chess player Caradine Garan’anga who to part at this tournament. From the University of Zimbabwe were Cecil Gwezere and Sandra Mukuwe. Also among participantswas Noel Manyanga once a great player in his heydays. Chimbamu brothers Victor & Elisha from Mabvuku, Admire Mawire, Caradine Garan’anga, Solomon Mapfumo, and MunasheZiome also took part.
In total the event attracted 18 players although the likes of Hamilton Mandeya aka Buddha, Bhudhi Edmund Mpofu, Linah Nyakunya, Wisborn Manyanga, came in the afternoon towatch the games.
The first round was fairly easy for top players with customary wins for Spencer, Robert and Heath. Cecil Gwezere a Medical student with the UZ School of Medicine in a winning position blundered a whole rook and resigned after a few moves in his game against Mapfumo Solomon. The great Bismark escaped with a draw against Caradine Garan’anga. A fierce battle erupted between Thabo Elisha aka Thabov and Elisha Chimbamu as if there were fighting for a name in round one in a sharp Alekhinedefense.Thabov emerged the victor after driving his opponent to the centre of the board and delivered a checkmate.
Just before the tournament starts- Chess players sharing some lighter moments. From left to right Caradine, Admire, Mufaro and Victor
In round two, Mufaro Mangono former Zim Open Champion 2008 who had spent greater part of 2011 in hibernation had the white pieces against IM Robert Gwaze. The game followed IM Gwaze’s world cup game against Ruslan Ponomariov. Gwaze was unable to break Mangono and was starring a draw. Disappointment took the better of Gwaze who sacrificed a rook which he could not follow through correctly. Mangono took his chances and in few moves and threatened checkmateswhich the IM was unable to answer adequately and resigned.
The great Bhobhojani outplayed and beat Elisha Chimbamu in a drawn endgame. Chimbamu was in time trouble and unable to find only moves to secure a draw. Credit goes to Bismark’s endgame techniques which are no match for Fritz 13 and Rybka 4! Elisha was in poor form something strange for a former National Champion. Other top players recorded wins in this round are Spencer, Munashe Ziome, and Thabov who beat Heath Darare.
Round three was also a defining moment of the tournament, Gwaze having lost to Mangono was paired against Caradine Garan’anga. The IM played very aggressive opening crashing the opponent in the Middlegame. Thabov missed a blind bishop draw against Spencer who demonstrated great endgame skills and time management. Another interesting game was Solomon versus Mufaro. Solomon showed a great understanding of chess opening theory had winning chances but settled for a draw.Terrence Mukoviya who learnt Chess about two years from his neighbor Anesu Masimba popularly known as Anand, lost to Bismark. Terrence says he is not good at rapid games and has not got much tournament experience .The gunners John and Heath battled it out in this round and Heath won. Victor Chimbamu lost to an upcoming player Munashe Ziome an Electrical engineering student doing his Industrial attachment with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
In the fourth roundGwaze was paired against the Midlands Champion Elisha Thabov. In a sharp Grandprix variation of the Sicilian defense, Thabov playing the white pieces had a great position but according to Gwaze the young man was unable to find forceful continuation hence his attack was neutralized and eventually lost.Thabo’s in the process of developing at the moment. Like other elite chess players when the play becomes concrete he starts to play strictly according to the first line. Moreover, he does it very quickly. He’s improved in the opening of late, although he’s still far from perfect. He’s got a wonderful inborn sense of where to put the pieces. He won all his games with the black pieces and lost with white.
On board one Spencer had the white pieces against Mangono who was on cloud nine after beating Gwaze in the second round. Mangono in his own words said that he was outclassed by Spencer a poor thing for him having beaten the top seed. This round also marked the beginning of Solomon’s demise as he lost to Bismark. Ziome lost to Heath, and also Chibvuri fell to Elisha Chimbamu.
The fifth round showcased the gunners on top boards. Bismark could not resist Spencer’s pressure and also Gwaze played Heath. After Gwaze’s loss to Mufaro in the second round he was playing like an oiled killing machine through to round seven. He unleashed all his weapons of mass destruction to ensure victory. Another Glen Norah gunner Chibvuri destroyed Terrence Mukoviya.
Spencer lost to Gwaze in round six and also Mufaro fell to the great Bismark. The young Munashe Ziome emerged a winner in a tough battle against Elisha Chimbamu. It’s interesting to note that Ziome destroyed both the Chimbamus having met the senior in the third round. Heath Darare lost to Thabov in an epic game where Thabov sacrificed a rook in the kingside attack with the black pieces, Caradine and Solomon drew.
Round seven was characterized by quick draws by agreement on top boards i.e. Gwaze and Bismark, also Spencer and Ziome. Thabov who was fighting for a prize lost to Mufaro, had he won could have finished joint third.
Hamilton Mandeya (Buddha) and Linah Nyakunya assisted in the prize giving ceremony. The IM Gwaze and Spencer shared the first prize, Bismark came third, Munashe Ziome fourth and Mufaro fifth. Sandra Mukuwe the only lady scooped the best lady prize by default. Munashe Madamombe won the best scholar prize. Ms. Theo Chigodora a Chess teacher at Blakiston represented the school. Every participant got a scorebook from Chess Corner. The founder and president of Glen Norah Knights Academy, Mr. John Chibvuri also received some score books for his students from Chess Corner. The top five got prizes that comprised cash and chess videos courtesy of African Chess Lounge that can be found here:.
African Chess Lounge is Chess Corner’s partnership project with Chess Cube an International chess site that was initiated by the Executive director Reuben Salimu who is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Special thanks to Mr. Charles T. Kuwaza the Zimbabwe Chess Federation president and his team and also Mr. Muzariri the Headmaster Blakiston School who made the event a success story. Those who want to partner with Chess Corner in its various projects get the contacts at the bottom.
The late Jervous Kampinya was a prominent and top player who played chess for close to two decades. He hailed from Mabvuku where he learnt chess at a very tender age and played for Mabvuku high school. Through his passion for chess, Mabvuku became a power house. Elliot and Richard Nyatoti, Elisha and Victor Chimbamu, Hamilton Mandeya (Buddha),Rodwell Kotov Makoto, Lawrence Muzoma, Lloyd Moyo to name a few became champions.
At the time of his death Jervous was staying in Glen Norah, Harare another powerhouse in Zimbabwean chess history where he played the Glen Norah gunners at Dhonoro a popular chess spot in the suburb. The last tournament the late Kampinya took part was the Emmanuel Masamba Memorial a closed event that was organised by Reuben Salimu in February 2010, held at Oasis Hotel in Harare. Top ten players were invited namely Robert Gwaze, Lewis Kahoba, Elisha Chimbamu, SD Ropi, Reuben Salimu, Heath Darare, the late Jervous Kampinya, Spencer Masango, Bismark Bhobhojani &Tribbie Motsi. Simbarashe Murimi was the Chief Arbiter of the event. The late Masamba was a Radiographer and a great tactical chess player who died on spot in a car accident in Plumtree on his way from a job interview in Botswana in September 2009.
During Kampinya’s heydays he played the likes IM Mamombe, Bruce Tendai Mubayiwa, Jona Chaka, Chakurira, Chikwanda, Cochrane, Masango, Mauwa, Mc Chrone, Mangwengwende, Chipanga, Luberto brothers, Kuwaza, Maveza, Karumazondo, the late Kachere, FM Kanengoni and many others. Kampinya’s widow appreciated Chess Corner for remembering her late husband who died in June 2010.
Caradine, Mufaro and Admire
Tribbie Motsi the tournament director and Admire Muranganwa Mawire
IM Robert Gwaze vs. Mufaro Mangono, Spencer vs. Victor, Thabov vs. Terrence!
Spencer vs Thabovon board one , Mufaro vs Solomon Board two!
The great Bismark Bhobhojani playing with the black pieces against Elisha Chimbamu. It’s Glen Norah versus Mabvuku rivalry.
Munashe Ziome versus Admire Mawire, John Chibvuri versus Munashe Madamombe the youngest player at the tournament who got the best scholar prize. Linah Nyakunya (standing) and Natsai Chiwundura closely following the games!
Battle of the gunners John Chibvuri playing white against Heath Darare
About the writers –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!
Munyaradzi Arigundia is a recent Accounting graduate from the University of Zimbabwe and a chess theoretician famously known as Arbiter in Zim Chess Circles.
Chess Corner Africa Directors can be contacted at following emails: tmotsi and salimu