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Gwaze confident of retaining title

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Zimbabwe’s international chess master Robert Gwaze said he was confident of retaining his Zimbabwe International Chess Open International title after finishing day two of the tournament at the top.

Defending champion Gwaze, who is now a grandmaster-elect, was confident that no one would wrestle away the title from him.

“It’s been a good tournament so far and it’s nice to see the increase in the number of participants. But with all due respect to all my opponents, I don’t think anyone can beat me in this tournament,” said Gwaze.

Gwaze enjoyed a success-filled 2010 where he said he won every tournament that he participated in.

Recently, he won the Botswana Open and a tournament in Angola.

“2010 was a very successful year for me as I managed to win every tournament that I took part in. It would be nice to start 2011 with a victory here before going to Russia later next month for an international tournament,” he added.

Top-seed Gwaze is one of the record 150 chess players who are taking part in this year’s tournament which started on New Year’s Day in the capital and will run until Thursday.

There were no notable upsets after two rounds and Gwaze was set to lock horns with Cevan Murehwa later Sunday in round three.

Zambian Kelvin Chumfwa was paired against Anyway Zhuwawo while South African Thomas Zulu was expected to square off with Spencer Masango.

The tournament has also attracted players from South Africa and Zambia and the winner is expected to walk away with a cool $1500 while the runner up with pocket $1000.

The tournament’s technical director Elton Mhangarayi it was pleasing to see an increase in the number of female participants and young players.

He said the competition would become more intriguing as the top seeds meet each other in the latter stages of the Kingdom bank, Commarton Consultancy, Company CBZ Holdings and POSB sponsored this year’s tournament.

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