Chaka chess guru passes on

The chess world has plunged into a deep somber mood after the passing on of one of its former chess guru Jona Chaka.Veteran former Gokomere Mission chess player passed away this week after a long battle with illness.

The former Engineer worked for Kuchi Construction before
venturing into his own building construction company which he led in
Gaborone Botswana for some time. He showed his love for the game by
sponsoring some chess tournaments in Botswana to the game that he
loved most. In his playing career he represented Zimbabwe at the World
Chess Olympiads together with the likes of Fide Master Arnold
Kanengoni, Nimrod Zimuto as well as the late Charles Kuwaza.


Popularly known as ‘chuck Norris” the player was ruthless over the checkered
board, as he managed to swindle his players in the end game, producing
some very good results against the Zambians when he came for Zimbabwe
chess Open tournament. He would travel all the way from Gaborone for
the game that he loved the most.

In Botswana he played for Poisonous
snakes chess club. The club caused a lot of problems in the league
resulting in their dominance over the other teams. Grassroots chess
was also his passion as mentored some kids for twelve months for free.
He was very generous to all the chess players in need of help and was
ready to chip in, in support of the player to ensure that there was
progress. He played for the Zimbabwe Olympiad team in 1998 before also
taking part in the zonal 4.2 in 2013 where he finished 11th in a
star-studded field. There are plans being mooted for the Chaka
Memorial chess tournament in hour of the legendary chess player of
repute who left an indelible mark in the Zimbabwean chess history. The
chess fraternity has lost a great player of repute who was also
generous to the chess community.

The history of the game can only be
commendable by the mention of this chess guru. He was a complete
player who could take you head-on to the end game.

His former teacher
Richard Knottenbelt produced some fine chess players at Gokomere
Mission, the likes of the late Jona Chaka, International Master
kudzanai Mamombe, Svinurai Chakurira to mention but some of the
players churned by the former Maths teacher at Gokomere and Victoria
High school.If we are to write Zim chess history without the mention
of Jona Chaka then that history will be incomplete. Gift Sithole
opines that, he was a great chess enthusiast. He once came to Lion
King and blitzed a couple of games.

He played brilliantly and won a
lot of games in the process.” May his soul rest in eternal peace. An
Engineer who loved the game to the core. He would travel from Botswana
for the Zimbabwe Chess Open. Chess will be poorer without him opined
International Organizer Chimbamu. Advocate postulates that, “munhu
airova hake boys kana mazogara.” ‘Madamombe stated that, we used to
play against the Gokomere chess team in long games during the weekends
at the time Svinurai Chakurira was their board one followed by Jonah
Chaka on board two that is for Gokomere while the then form one Arnold
Kanengoni used to play on board one for Goromonzi.’The above is
testimony to show how consistent Jona Chaka was both academically and
chesswise because he later became a Civil Engineer.

It is prudent to have an annual chess tournament in his name so that his legacy will
continue to live a lively life after his departure as his contribution
was of a paramount importance in the game of chess.

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