Just like in a fairy tale movie, the Glen Norah Knights or Kidsnet; Zhemba Jemusse (15), Alpha Simbarashe Chaendera(12), Kudzai Mhandu(10), Collins Mabodongwa(10) went to Masvingo for the Gokomere Festival held on Saturday the 16th of June just to learn and gain exposure from their bigger and seasoned brothers, but what happened especially in the 4th and 5th rounds (last 2 rounds) was shocking.
Prince Edward and Churchill are among the best High School Chess powerhouses in Zimbabwe who pour in significant resources for the game. They were both massacred (should we say humiliated!) 3.5-0.5 each in the 4th and 5th rounds by this financial resource struggling academy. The young Glen Norah Knights came to learn but incredibly stole the show!
The tournament was a secondary schools 4 player team event. The Glen Norah Knights with its goal of nurturing young talent decided to send a team of 3 primary school kids: Simbarashe (board 2), Kudzai (board 3), and anchored by the tactically gifted kid Collins (board 4) as well as 1 High School student to absorb the heat on board 1- Zhemba. Glen Norah Knights board 1 player was the best player who garnered 5/5 points. All the other primary school kids scored an incredible 3.5/5, which too high a score for their ages considering they faced much older and stronger High School opponents up to A-levels.
In the first round Glen Norah Knights beat Gokomere C by 2.5-1.5. They went on to thrash Jichidza High 4-0 in the 2nd round. All hell broke loose in the 3rd round as giants Gokomere B were leading 2-1 with the board 4 game still on, and thanks to Collins Mabodongwa a grade 4 pupil at Kundai Primary School in Glen Norah he brilliantly checkmated his Form 6 opponent to save the Knights and the result was 2-2!
Glen Norah Knights beat Gokomere C 2.5-1.5
Jigicha High was walloped 4-0!
It was a truce between the Glen Norah youngsters and Gokomere B in the 3rd round
What happened in the last 2 rounds was both shocking and incredible. In my over 20 years of playing the game I’ve never seen such discipline, hardworking, commitment and aggression by very young chess players! Even after the tournament the defending champions Prince Edward (who lifted the trophy 6 consecutive years) together with their fellow chess giants suffered psychologically as they couldn’t come to terms with what really happened. For a long time to come this is going to be known as ‘The Gokomere Massacre.’ I can only compare this disaster with The Pearl Habour were giants USA were shocked by Japan. The Glen Norah youngsters : Zhemba Jemusse (15) Form 2 at Seke 4 High, Alpha Simbarashe Chaendera(12) grade 7 at Southerton Primary, Kudzai Mhandu(10) grade 5 at Marimba Primary, and Collins Mabodongwa(10) grade 4 at Kundai Primary all worked together to do the unthinkable destroying the giants Prince Edward in the 4th round 3.5-0.5, and Churchill (The Bulldogs!) 3.5-0.5 in the 5th and final round.
In the 4th round against Prince Edward, and 3.5-0.5 was the result.
The decisive last round against ‘The Bulldogs’ Churchill. They lifted the trophy in style 3.5-0.5.
Top 10 Final Table after 5 rounds Boys (29 teams took part)
1st. Glen Norah Knights Chess Academy 4.5
2nd. Serima 4
3rd. Zimuto 4
4th. Prince Edward 3.5
5th. Churchill B 3.5
6th. Gokomere B 3
7th Silveira 3
8th Churchill A 3
9th St Anthony 3
10th Gokomere A 3
Mr Govathson (Gokomere Teacher) 0773 887 543
Mr Masimba Mutakaya (Gokomere Teacher) 0775 562 420
The Glen Norah Knights Founder (John Chibvuri) and Coach’s words: ‘ I’m really happy and on cloud number 9. These kids have really demonstrated that there is abundant talent in the hi-density areas. I urge all schools in hi-density surbubs to support games like chess because not all students are talented in Soccer, Cricket, Atheletics. Chess instils discipline, patience and strategic thinking ability in kids. I started this initiative in January 2011 (1 and half years ago) and results of sweat and hardworking are showing now. We’ve struggled financially and almost quit but we persevered despite our challenges. This shield is dedicated to parents of the youngsters and all our supporters who believed in us.’