Bwalya wins Minerva Zim Open 2022

Zambian International Master and tournament top seed Gillian Bwalya won the just ended Minerva Zimbabwe Open held at the Joina City from the 29th of April to the 2nd of May 2022.

Linda Shaba on the left playing black vs WFM Elect Kudzanayi Charinda photo credit Munashe Mudondo.

The eight round tournament was won by the great attacking player after managing a draw against the close rival International Master Rodwell Makoto in a pulsating round 7 draw before winning a last round game against his compatriot Timothy Kabwe to finish with 7.5 points out of the 8 rounds played. Hopes for Rodwell Makoto to lift the tournament were dashed in the round when he lost to Vitalis Mapuranga who had earlier on defeated Spencer Masango another top player from the Zimbabwean side.  Mwadzura Roy lost to Gillian Bwalya in the fifth round

before winning the other remaining games to finish with 7 points half a point behind the winner. In his game in the final round against Mapuranga Vitalis he won a tightly contested game. Makoto had to battle it out with Cyril Chigodo whom he defeated in an epic battle which Makoto attacked relentlessly and the won the game eventually. Mwape William another Zambian defeated Mugove Muririma in the final round to finish with 6.5 points. Meanwhile Makoto came third tied together with William Mwape of Zambia. There was a tie on position five with Vitalis Mapuranga, Luanja Geoffrey, Emarald Mushore, Jele Tapiwa, Katsande Tanaka, and Tasisio Chikandi all finished with 6 points and completed the top ten of the man prize winners of this tournament. The winner walked away with $1000 USD for coming out first. The total prize fund for the tournament was $6000. In another interesting duel Spencer Masango lost to Taurai Muzhingi in round 6 in a pulsating end game which seemed to be a draw but Muzhingi managed to threaten a check mate in one which was unavoidable. Muzhingi had a pawn threatening to be promoted on the seventh rank. It was an issue of chasing two birds in a rook and pawns end game which was very subtle and eventually Muzhingi prevailed. In another upset Mushore Emarald lost to Lawrence Tavagwisa after his loss to Makoto. However after this Mushore never looked back as he won all the remaining games. His final round game against Mazhambe Tadiwanashe was a close shave as he escaped from the jaws of defeat in a very tight contest, eventually Mazhambe mixed up some lines resulting in a loss a
s well as twist of fate to Mazhambe. Masango did not impress as he finished position 25. Tapiwa Chikwavaire failed to hold on to better positions and let the top ten finish slip through his fingers. Simabarashe Chikoya surprised Geoffrey Luanja of Zambia when he held him to a draw in a seemingly lost position which he held very well. They had Bishops of opposite colors as well as pawns which blocked the penetration by either party.
The chief Arbiter for the tournament was Simbarashe Murimi, who was assisted by Thabang Moyo, Taddeus Ndele and Jarmil Ndoro in running the tournament which went on smoothly though there were some risings which were dealt with professionally with a sound mind. Anti- cheating was applied and there was a lot of fighting chess.Record two hundred participants took part in the three sections of this tournament.
The tournament was bankrolled by Minerva, New World properties, Pulse Pharmaceuticals, Zimbabwe Chess Federation as well as Crystal Candy.
Round 8 final rankings of the tournament.
Rk. SNo Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1  TB2  TB3
1 1 IM BWALYA GILLIAN ZAM 2386 7,5 0,0 32,5 4
2 10 MWADZURA ROY ZIM 2036 7,0 0,0 30,5 4
3 2 IM MAKOTO RODWELL ZIM 2349 6,5 0,0 33,0 4
4 7 MWAPE WILLIAM ZAM 2105 6,5 0,0 28,5 4
5 13 MAPURANGA VITALIS ZIM 2008 6,0 0,0 33,5 4
6 4 LUANJA GEOFFREY ZAM 2235 6,0 0,0 29,5 4
7 5 MUSHORE EMARALD ZIM 2206 6,0 0,0 27,5 4
8 JELE TAPIWA ZIM 2048 6,0 0,0 27,5 4
9 33 KATSANDE TANAKA ZIM 1843 6,0 0,0 26,5 4
10 18 CHIKANDI TASISIO ZIM 1963 6,0 0,0 24,5 4
 Woman FIDE Master Elect Kudzanayi Charinda was crowned 2022 Minerva Zimbabwe Open Chess Tournament Ladies Champion after seeing off stiff competition from the 2021 Minerva Ladies Champion Linda Shaba, Christine Makwena and National Women’s Champion WCM Refiloe Mudodo. Charinda scored 6.5/8 points and walked away US$800.00 cash. The 2021 champion finished with 6/7 points to earn second position and won US$ 450.00 cash and a silver medal. Makwena Christine edged WCM Mudodo Refiloe, Mozambique WCM Sitoe Cheila Andre and WCM Zengeni Paidaishe to get the bronze medal on tiebreaker after they had finished tied on 5.5/8 points. The tournament was a pulsating one for the ladies as they fought some nail biting battles on the checkered board. This was a tournament to remember for the ladies as some walked away richer. In a twist of fate Colleta Wakuruwarehwa lost to WCM Refiloe Mudodo in a seemingly won position as the composed player who converted in that subtle game

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