Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
CITY of Kings’ top 10 chess players will today clash in a two-day competition dubbed “Bulawayo Championships” to be held at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust).
Nkulumane’s Tapiwa Jele will defend his title against nine other players who amassed most points at the Bulawayo Chess Association’s (BCA) organised tournaments between January and November this year.
Hoping to dethrone Jele is Castro Sibanda of Nust Chess Club, winner of the BCA Easter Open as well as the BCA Independence Open tournaments. Sibanda finished sixth at the Africa Open which were held during the year.
Sibanda’s club mate and winner of last month’s Bulawayo Candidates, ZRP Bulawayo Chess Club trio of Tarcisio Chikandi, Maxwell Masare and Benson Chinodyanama are part of the province’s best 10 players competing in the round robin competition.
Winter Open winner Russel Dzete of Bulawayo Chess Club, Titans Chess Club’s Mzingaye Hadebe, Spencer Moyo from Filabusi Chess Club and Phakamani Sithole of Nkulumane complete the list vying for the title.
“This is the ultimate competition for our chess players where the best of the best compete for top honours. We will provide free transport to those who want to watch the masters competing from the city centre to Nust. The winner of the tournament will get $80, with the runner-up taking home $50 while the third best player will pocket $20,” said Moses Mutipforo, BCA spokesperson.
The past winners of the Bulawayo Championship are Sibanda who emerged king in the 2012, 2013 and 2016 editions, Kudakwashe Sibanda (2014, 2015), Ntokozo Mangena and the defending champion Jele.