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Top chess players for Easter Open


Some of the country’s top chess players will converge in the capital for the Zimbabwe Chess Federation Easter Open Chess tournament which roars into life tomorrow.

The Easter Chess Open, which will run until Monday, is one of the major tournaments on the local chess calendar and will be the second major chess tournament to be hosted in the country since the Zimbabwe Open Chess Championship in January.

One of the organisers of the event, Clive Mphambela, an official at the Zimbabwe Chess Federation, told NewsDay Sport yesterday that preparations were already at an advanced stage.

“At least five of our foreign-based players from South Africa and Botswana have confirmed their participation while we are also expecting more than 10 Zambian players.

“Considering that the tournament will be taking place during the school holidays, we expect more scholars and we are also hoping to have more female participants like we did during the Zimbabwe Open,” said Mphambela.

Some of the top chess players who are expected to grace the event include the Zimbabwe chess sensation and All-Africa Games gold medallist Robert Gwaze who will be out to defend the tourney he won last year.

Gwaze will, however, face stiff competition from South Africa-based Fide (Fédération Internationale des Échecs) (World Chess Federation) masters Rodwell Makoto, Eric Takawira, Charlton Maravanyika and Daud Amini.

Amini and Maravanyika will go into the Easter Open Chess tournament in good form after they recently took part the Western Province Open, in South Africa where they gave a good account of themselves by finishing joint third.

The Easter Open tournament will also attract players from Zambia, among them, International Master (IM) Mwali Chitumbo, Kelvin Chumfwa, Kennedy Katowa and Thomas Zulu.

Katowa has very good memories of his last visit to Zimbabwe when he upstaged local favourite Gwaze to lift the coveted Zimbabwe Open Chess Championship title in January and walk away with $2000.

The Easter Chess Open is one of the major tournaments on the local chess calendar.
The tournament’s history goes back to the 1960s and the federation intends to keep the tradition for many years to come.

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