All set for Chess Grand Prix

More than 100 players from around the country are expected to take part in the National Chess Grand Prix here over the weekend, with some unheralded players hoping to upset their more illustrious opponents.

The National Chess Grand Prix is played over five legs which lead to the final, this year slated for Chaplin High School. The Midlands Chess Association and the Zimbabwe Chess Federation will jointly hold the grand event on May 24-25.

Bruxton Temba, the MCA Deputy Chairperson, said the event would be key in the lives of local players that aspire to rise to stardom and use the game as a professional career to earn a living.

"We always want to uplift young talent while also celebrating the success of those who have already made it in the game. Harare has been the epicentre of most of the activities involving Chess, but this time around, the sport will be unfolding in Gweru. It’s a blessing for the unheralded players," he said.

National team players like international master Robert Gwaze, Spencer Masango, Lloyd Moyo and Thabo Elisha are expected to hog limelight, while those like Gweru-based Rugare Uchena and Trust Usai, who gave a good account of themselves in last year's encounter, are the dark horses.

The competition will also be a platform for chess players throughout the country to meet and exchange notes. Temba reiterated that much hype had been created ahead of the competition, where many players wanted participate.

"It is very impressing to see so many players throughout the country expressing a desire to participate. We are also encouraging new players to come because that is how we will start building a strong national team that can put the country on the international map," he said.

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