Young Zimbabweans Scoop Silver Medals at African Schools Individuals Chess Championships

The African Schools chess championships were held in Kampala, Uganda. The countries that took part in the competition are: Botswana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe took part in this chess tournament which is now an annual tournament on the African schools calendar.

Zimbabwe had three participants namely Tawananyasha Mawire, Nokutenda Mitchel Madzikwa and Mukundi Shepherd Madzikwa. The trio represented Zimbabwe and came from Young Chess Masters the only Fide registered Academy in Zimbabwe. Tawananyasha Mawire finished with 7.5 points out of the 9 games they played. He lost to the eventual winner of the tournament from Botswana Thuto Mpene who won the gold medal in that category. The game between Tawananyasha Mawire lasted almost 3 hours, it was a battle of the English Opening in which Thuto was white while Mawire was the defender.

Mawire’s draw was against Thandela Shilo who was the top seed from Uganda whose Fide rating was 1463 at the time of the tournament which was played in a very conducive chess playing environment. In this section by amassing 7.5 points out of nine games played Tawananyasha Mawire scooped a silver medal in this section much to the delight of the coach as well as the parents adding to the Zimbabwean youth medals tally amassed during these tournaments since the inception of the youth tournaments which were far much less than what they are now ensuring that the young players can actually get some Titles at a very tender age.

Noketenda Mitchel Madzikwa played well in a mixed age group in which she finished with 5 points out of 9 games played. She could have scooped a gold medal had she defeated her opponent in round 7 in which she failed to contain the Cole System leading to her demise in the game. She had played well in the opening but alas it was another story after she fell in the end game to some silly trap. However for her efforts she came second and won a silver medal. The two players got some conditional Titles for Candidate Master and Woman Candidate Master.

Mukundi Madzikwa performed well but not a podium finishing position. This was his first tournament of this magnitude but with the experience and exposure certainly more is to come from the young man. The vision of the boy can certainly improve and hence the results overall will also be positive.

The chess game is becoming a force to reckon with in Zimbabwe as we are producing players of repute. The young Tawananyasha Mawire was profiled sometime last month and this has come into fruition as expected. The beginning of better things to come. Chess in Zimbabwe will never be the same again.

The coach Walter Mkundwa performed a sterling job as he managed to produce two out of the three players getting a podium finish. This was a great piece of work from the Young Chess Masters Coach who has produced players like Woman Fide Master Refiloe Mudodo, Farai Hamandishe who scooped a gold medal at the African Schools Chess Championships which were hosted by Zimbabwe in 2017 at the Rainbow Towers, in Harare. The star is shining for the young Coach who has to continue working hard in order to produce more players of repute enabling the Curriculum Vitae to be strong enough with reputable products.

In conclusion one can say that the game of chess is growing from strength to strength in Africa, and the world at large after the introduction of many tournaments of repute which also resulted in taping the young talent. Grand Master Fawzy Adam of Egypt is a product of these tournaments. I remember in Pretoria, South Africa in 2012 when he won his age group that was the under 14 Open section with a perfect score 9/9. He even won a blitz chess tournament which was organized at the Fair City Roodevallei Hotel and won the play offs against International Arbiter Chanda of Zambia.

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