The humble but diligent player was tactical throughout the two-day extravaganza, which drew participation from nearly 100 players.
Though international master Robert Gwaze failed to show up for the national competition, jointly organised by the Zimbabwe Chess Federation and the Midlands Chess Association, Sibanda rose above a cluster of equally-renowned players to win.
Those included the Harare duo of Rodwell Makoto and Heath Darare, who share the hall of fame with the likes of Gwaze. Sibanda finished on six-and-a-half points, but still managed to beat Makoto, who had the same tally by virtue of the book horse advantage.
Darare then occupied third place, while another Harare-based player – Talent Zengeni, emerged the best lady in the competition. Joe Sibanda was voted the best local player.
Sibanda said his success was a milestone achievement for the country's southern region, which had over the years appeared to be perennial bridesmaid of the competition.
"My achievement is a blessing for my region and I hope it will lead to more success for other players from the same region. It shows that we can also do it," said Sibanda, who added that he was motivated to conquer the SADC region and the international stage.
“I am confident that I can become one of the international masters of chess and that grand stage is now my target.”Post published in: Sport