6 November 2018

Zimbabwe: Zimbowa Wins Big in Botswana Chess Tourney

Seventeen-year-old candidate master Kudakwashe Zimbowa recently upset the highest rated Botswana chess player in the 2018 Debswana Botswana International Open Championships at the Oasis Motel in Gaborone.

A total of 138 players from Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the host country got down to outdo each other on the chess board, but it was the defeat of top seeded Batswana Oratile Kgotlane (with a rating of 1832) by the Seke High 1 School's Zimbowa that was the major highlight of the two-day tournament.

Among the obstacles Zimbowa had to defy were the shoddy travelling arrangements that saw him put up in the bus at Plumtree border post and only got to the Botswana capital on the day of the tournament.

And as if "bus lag" alone was not enough, he also had to forgo acclamatisation formalities to the sweltering heat as he immediately got down to prove he had enough mental arsenal to take his ranking to fide master in the not-so-distant future.

As early as the first round, the Lower Sixth Chitungwiza student had posted victories over Rakonche Obonolo, Ramolefhe Mpho and the best bet of the tournament (Kgotlane) whose challenge he dismissed for a second time around.

The two squared off again in 2015 during the African Youth Championships at the same venue when Zimbowa was a mere 14 year-old.

The sole set-back for the Zimbabwean player was a draw with Kamodi Branden (also rated higher than him at 1798).

Zimbowa, who was supported by his school, Seke High 1, relishes the realisation of his dream to be one of the few players who are at the apex of the sport of chess - international masters Robert Gwaze, Kudzanai Mamombe and Farai Mandizha.

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