Katowa stuns Gwaze in chess final

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Top Zambian chess player Kennedy Katowa upstaged defending champion and local favourite Robert Gwaze to lift the coveted Zimbabwe Open Chess Championship title in the capital yesterday.

Katowa finished on eight points after 11 rounds and walked away $2 000 richer.

International master Gwaze, who was the defending champion in the tournament, had to settle for second place on 7,5 points where he was tied with Emerald Mushore, Rodwell Mukoto, Judah Simulundu, Mwali Chitumbo and Thomas Zulu.

The six players who finished in second place on 7,5 points walked away with $750 each while Colleta Wakuruwarehwa who finished as the highest placed lady on 6,5 points won $400.

The focus, however, was on local favourite Gwaze who in the end had a disappointing start to the year having registered a successful 2011 where he won a number of top accolades including a gold medal at the All-Africa Games in Mozambique.

The Zimbabwe Open Chess Championship is the country’s flagship tournament and has been hosted annually since 1961.

This year’s tournament which started on New Year’s Eve before coming to an end yesterday was bankrolled to the tune of $12 000 in total prize money attracted 195 players, while seven players came from Zambia.