Bwalya and Charinda win the Minerva Chess Tournament

the herald

Takudzwa Chitsiga
Sports journalist
ZAMBIAN Gillian Bwalya and Zimbabwean Kudzanayi Charinda were crowned men’s and women’s champions of the 2022 Minerva Chess Open Tournament in a four-day competition that closed in Joina City on Monday night.

Bwalya, an international master, managed to accumulate 7.5 points to pocket US$1,000 and edged Zimbabwean Roy Mwadzura who came second with seven points.

The Zambian, who was playing in Europe recently, said he was happy to have won the tournament which was hotly contested.

“I was lucky to have won the competition after my last visit to Zimbabwe three years ago. I had some tough matches as the level of competition has improved tremendously. There is a big improvement and I hope this will also reflect on the ratings.I was very happy to have come out victorious in most of my matches because Rodwell Makoto, who is also an international master, gave me a good run.

“My next goal is to become a regional champion and I will work hard for that,” Bwalya said.

Charinda, who pocketed US$800, said she was happy to win the women’s title ahead of Dalitso Linda Shaba who finished second.

The former national team player hopes to continue improving and represent the country in India later this year.

“I’m very happy with my performance over the last four days. I’m happy to have managed to win because the competition was very tough. There is a great improvement in the sport as the number of representative women has improved a lot.

“My wish is for the sport to attract more female participants,” Charinda said.

Top-ranked Zimbabwean Makoto finished third in the men’s section with 6.5 points while fellow Zambian William Mwape finished fourth with Vitalis Mapuranga completing the top five. The women’s category had Christine Makwena in third place while Rafiloe Mudodo and Sitoe Chiela Andre from Mozambique were fourth and fifth respectively.

The tournament, marking its second year after Covid-19, was deemed a success with Freida Chapfika, Minerva’s marketing and public relations manager, saying they hope to return next year.

“Having organized the first tournament in December, we were impressed and the 2022 edition was even better in terms of numbers and organization.

“We are proud and at the same time humbled to be associated with this sport, which has seen a resurgence after the Covid-19 period for the past three years. Our vision as Minerva is for players to fulfill their dreams and in doing so , bring attention to the sport in our communities.”We hope to return next year and are grateful to the Zimbabwe Chess Federation for hosting such a prestigious tournament,” said Chapfika.

ZIMBABWE MINERVA 2022 OPEN CHESS TOURNAMENT FINAL RANKING

MEN’S OPEN SECTION

Overall Winner: IM Gillian Bwalya 7.5pts/8 Rnds

2nd: Roy Mwadzura 7pts/8

3rd: MI Rodwell Makoto 6.5pts

4th: William Mwape 6.5pts

WOMEN SECTION

Overall Winner: WCM Kudzanayi Charinda 6.5pts/8

2nd: Dalitso Linda Shaba 6pts

3rd: Christine Makwena 5.5pts

4th: WCM Refiloe Mudodo 5.5pts

5th: WCM André Cheila Stoe 5.5pts

6th: WCM Paidaishe Zengeni 5.5pts

Pricing Structure Open Section

1st – US$1,000

2nd – US$600

3rd – US$500

4th – $300

5th – $200

6th – $150

7th – $100

8th – $80

9th – $70

10th – $50

Best under 20 – $50

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