Top Zimbabwean chess player Rodwell Makoto made the country proud after winning the prestigious South Africa Open Chess Championships which came to an end on Sunday at the Newlands Rugby Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa.
The 25-year-old Makoto walked away with R18 000 for winning the coveted title.
Makoto, a rising star on the local and international chess circuit, was declared the winner on tie-break as he was tied with three other players on 9,0 points after 11 rounds.
The other players who were on the same number of points were the highly-rated Egyptian Grand Master Ahmed Adly, International Master (IM) Johannes Mabusela and Daniel Cawdery from South Africa.
The tournament which had a prize fund of R100 000 attracted 326 entries with the bulk of them coming from South Africa while the rest were from Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Switzerland, Angola, Iraq, Egypt, Malawi, France and Portugal.
Makoto, who is currently a FIDE Master, has in the past played second fiddle to his countryman Robert Gwaze but his performance over the weekend showed that he is a rising force in local chess.
The other Zimbabweans who took part in the tournament made a good account of themselves with Daud Amini finishing in 15th position while Spencer Masango was 29th.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has registered a team for the Chess Olympiad to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from August 27 to September 10.
The men’s team will be anchored by IM Robert Gwaze, Makoto, US-based IM Farai Mandizha, Masango, Dion James Moyo and Lloyd Moyo as the reserve player.
The ladies’ team will be made up of top teen sensation Colletta Wakuruwarehwa, Rhoda Masiyazi, Tatenda Zengeni and Paidashe Zengeni with Bridget Pumuyo as the reserve player.