SENSATIONAL 12-year-old chess genius Jonathan Thomas yesterday proved he belonged to the top drawer after sharing a four-way tie at the top of a field of more than 200 players taking part in the Zambia Under-20 Chess Championship at Levy Park shopping Complex in Lusaka.
Fresh from winning Zambia a silver medal at the Africa Youth Chess Championship Under-12 section in South Africa, Thomas, who was seeded 153 going into the competition, won all his five games to share the lead with Joshua Mulauze, who he meets in the sixth round.
Also joining Thomas at the top was Vukani Kakanda and Eddie Phiri who were also facing off in the sixth round.
Sitting half a point behind was Pascal Kangwa and Erick Siyamuyuwa, the two also paired to play each other in the sixth round.
Chess Federation of Zambia (CFZ) national tournaments coordinator Chanda Nsakanya was happy with the turn out and the levels of competition saying this showed the game had a bright future in Zambia going by the numbers and competitiveness.
The players are drawn from across the country and this tournament would give them the vital ELO rating that would allow them further their chess careers.
Zambian female junior star Lorita Mwango was in the pack of 24 players on four points.
Six more were tied on 3.5 points and then 42 players trying out their wits were on three points and just six players rooted to the bottom with no points to show for.