Minerva Zim Open Chess begins

THE Zimbabwe Chess Federation, in conjunction with Minerva Risk Advisors, will today host the biggest chess competition on the local chess calendar — The Minerva Zimbabwe Open Chess Tournament — at Joina City.

The US$10 000 four-day event will run until Monday and has attracted several top players from across the globe.

Minerva Zimbabwe Open Chess Tournament comes just after the conclusion of another national chess competition, the Zimbabwe Easter Open Tournament which was won by Emarald Mushore in the men’s section and Paidaishe Zengeni in the women’s category.

Zengeni, Linda Shaba, and Colleta Wakuruwarehwa were all on seven points and were separated on Buchholz ranking.

This year’s tournament has attracted a huge field with Jemusse Zhemba expected to lead the local contingent in defending national pride.

Zhemba is one of the local players in the top 10 of the tournament, which is dominated by Zambians led by defending champion Gillan Bwalya.

The other players expected to shine are Munenga Douglas, Nase Lungu, Prince Mulenga, Michael Kaoma, Geofrey Luanja all from Zambia, South Africa’s Banele Mhango, Portugese Cardoso Hugo, Botswana’s Cyril Chigodo, Elias Olositwe, Otsile Mapini and Mozambican Persson Abrantes.

Over 200 local and international participants confirmed their availability for this prestigious event in which the overall winner will walk away US$1 300 and US$1 000 for men and women categories respectively.

The first edition of the tournament was held in December 2021 and the second in August last year.

Zimbabwe’s highest ranked chess master, FIDE Master Zhemba, is expected to grace the occasion.

The Zimbabwe Chess Federation president, Muchakanakirwa Mkanganwi, said they are expecting a huge turn out and strong competition.

“We are anticipating a very competitive and very exciting chess battles. We haven’t had a prospect of such an event in the post Covid-19 era. A competition of Minerva Zim Open’s magnitude requires international participants to help boost the competition’s standards.

“We are grateful to Minerva Risk Advisors for the support they continue to render to chess. With such partnerships, chess has a bright future,” said Mkanganwi. – The Herald

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