National University of Science and Technology (Nust) student Anesu Masimba emerged the clear winner at the Zimbabwe Chess Federation Mutare Grand Prix held at Mutare Polytechnic College over the weekend.
Masimba took over from last year’s winner Heath Darare, who only managed 5/7 points for 11th position in a highly competitive field which attracted 46 players.
The industrious Masimba garnered six points out of a possible seven points in a tight contest that featured three national team players, Emerald Mushore, Spencer Masango and James Moyo.
Mozambican national team player, Persson Abrantes also added some international flavour at the tournament.
Abrantes could have won this year’s Mutare chess show piece had he not been forced to a draw in the last round against Cevan Murerwa in the final round.
Heading into the final round on Board One, Murerwa and Abrantes eventually shared the spoils, earning half a point each to end in joint second position with 5.5 out of seven points together with Emarald Mushore, and Elisha Chimbamu.
Masimba has now accumulated 20 Grand Prix points from the Mutare Grand Prix, which is the first of five tournaments to be staged around the country, with the final leg set for Harare later this year.
Speaking at the Prize Giving ceremony Zimbabwe Chess Federation President Charles Kuwaza said that the Grand Prix Series was a way of taking chess to the Grass roots in every province in the country.
“This year we want to strengthen the foundations of chess in the country by introducing chess in schools,” Kuwaza said.
“Chess is an important tool for the development of life skills in children and we would like to see as many kids from all walks of life starting to learn chess so that they can gain from the benefits of playing the game”, he added.
In the ladies section, Mutare Polytechnic student Colletta Wakuruwarehwa, who was the top favourite to win that section, emerged victorious with 4/7 points, whilst Harare Polytechnic College student, Shari Nyakurai came second. The Best scholar was Prince Edward School boy, Lawrence Tavagwisa, who ended the tourney with 4/7 points.