Mushore, Makwena win 2024 CBZ National Chess Championships

Emarald Takudzwa Mushore is the winner of the CBZ Nationals Chess Championships which were held at Joina City in the 16th Floor. The players had a gruelling chess tournament from the 8th of April. In the Men’s section there were 12 participants, while in the ladies they were 10 players.

Emerald Mushore finished with 9 points out of 11 games played. He lost a game against FM Zhemba Jemusse in a pulsating end game. He was held to draws by Fide Master Roy Mwadzura and Vitalis Mapuranga. He collected a cool $800 USD for his efforts. While there was a joint second position which had Vitalis Mapuranga and FM Roy Mwadzura who were half a point the winner. Mushore and Mapuranga automatically qualify for the Olympiad Chess tournament in Budapest, Hungary sometime in September.  In fourth position was FM Zhemba Jemusse who had a subtle end game against Tapiwa Gora in the final round which could have drawn with correct play, but Gora failed to capitalize on the slight advantage and ended up blowing the chance as well as the point to Zhemba.

Zhemba lost to Castrol Sibanda in a twist of fate for the young man who was leading at the time. There was also another loss to the leader from another Fide Master Roy Mwadzura who played one of the most interesting games of the tournament. The game had a lot of tactical prowess from both players and the better player of the day carried the day and that was Roy Mwadzura who outwitted Zhemba in a tantalising game. The game left the Fide Master Compatriot shell shocked as he failed to contain the marauding attack from the exciting tactical and skilful player who exhibited his exploits in an interesting fashion. Though both players were under time pressure a lot of positional and tactical understanding was shown.

In another exciting duel Vitalis Mapuranga gunned down Fide Master Roy Mwadzura in a pulsating fighting chess over the board. Mwadzura quickly rose from the dead after the loss and managed to rise above the only defeat which he suffered. Tanaka Katsande the student Teacher at Belvedere Technical Teachers college performed well after capturing the Candidates in Bulawayo last year. He surprised most players as he came just after FM Zhemba. Had it not been for his final round loss against Vitalis Mapuranga he could have finished in second place .Tapiwa Jele finished in an average position as he lost to Mushore in the final round. He lost two consecutive games which he could have held one against Tanaka Katsande and Tapiwa Chikwavaire. His Queen sacrifice against Katsande was a miscalculated sacrifice which led to his demise as he overlooked Rook capturing the Bishop which made it difficult for him to promote. His calculation was that his opponent was going to capture with knight which was not to be. He did not have sufficient time to finish the game.

The other players who played finished with the following points: Mugove Muririma 4 points and 8th position Gora Tapiwa 3 points, Tapiwa Chikwavaire 3 points, and Chigodo Cyril and Elisha Chimbamu both score 2.5 points and were tied on the 11th position.

Makwena won the Championship in the ladies section with 6.5 points and collected $600, while Colleta Wakuruwarehwa came second with 6 points, so was Woman Candidate Master   Kudzanai Charinda who eventually came third on buccholz. She defeated Rhoda Masiyazi in the final round in a very quick fashion almost similar to the way she scooped the quickest win at the Olympiads some time ago in Baku in 2016. There was fire over the board when the WCM Mawire Rumbidzai met Tatenda Zengeni in the final round. The game ended as a truce as Mawire defended very well. The under 20 National ladies champion was in top form as she took part in this event, only to miss some top of the drawer moves against some of the experienced players like Christine Makwena the eventual winner of the tournament. Mawire eventually came fourth with 5 points. She was tied on the same position with Tatenda Zengeni whom she drew against in their game. In a shocking result of the game Rhoda Msiyazi defeated Linda Shaba in a Bishop of the same colour end game with pawns in an interesting fashion. She later won against Nomalungelo Mathe on time in a seemingly winning position by her opponent. In the final round Linda Shaba lost to Nomalungelo Mathe in a seemingly balanced position with Queens , a knight each and some pawns.

Nomalungelo capitalised on her opponent’s greediness and managed to squeeze a win after a forcing queen moved to c5 with a check forcing the king to move to a square where the next move was a fork and that was the end of the game. Makwena Christine drew against WCM Refiloe Mudodo in the final round. Mudodo had a bad tournament this time around. The former National Champion found the going tough as she lost to WCM Rumbidzai Mawire. She offered a draw against Colleta in a seemingly won position after making a counter sacrifice of a Bishop after she was offered a rook for free with a mating threat. The level of competition was very good. Hazel Masango had a very tough tournament as she only managed half a point from a very tactical pawn end game against Refiloe was a lot of traffic as the games were broadcasted live online on lichess and chess fans across the country enjoyed watching these games. The tournament was bankrolled by CBZ Bank and it was a success.

The Chief Arbiter for the event was IA Simbararshe Murimi who was assisted by FA James Vhezha, yours truly, FA Jarmil Ndoro, NAs Tafadzwa Shanya, Mercy Mushangwe, and Thabang Moyo.

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