Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwean team participating at the inaugural International Chess Federation (FIDE) Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities in Belgrade, Serbia has had the going tough in their campaign after losing the third against Kyrgyzstan.
Going into the tournament as one of the three African representatives, Zimbabwe lost 2, 5 – 1, 5 against the Asian nation. The tournament comes to a close on Sunday.
The points for Zimbabwe came from the evergreen Tapiwa Gora who won his match 1-0 against Kubanychbek Ibraimov and Onai Chikafu who drew 0, 5 – 0, 5 against Dzhanysh Arstanbekov.
The other two Zimbabwean players, Tichaona Machona and Kissmore Basopo lost their rounds 1-0 against Tilegen Rakhatbekov and Toktobek Bolotov respectively as they found going tough.
Zimbabwe got off their campaign to a positive start with a 2-2 draw against The International Chess Committee of the Deaf (ICCD) team in the first round. The two points for Zimbabwe came from Tapiwa who won his round 1-0 against Tomas Jankunas and Tichaona Machona who also won 1-0 against Alfredo Fernandez Gomez. Onai Chikafu and Kissmore Basopo lost their matches.
In the second round, Zimbabwe, however, lost their match 3, 5 – 0, 5 against Serbia 2. Only Gora managed to salvage points for Zimbabwe with his 0, 5 – 0, 5 draw against Mile Bjelanovic as all his teammates lost their rounds 1-0.
Zimbabwe are paired against Kazakhstan in the third round. The other African nations taking part are Kenya and Zambia.
Over 100 players from 33 countries are participating in the historic event in Belgrade which is making a landmark moment for the chess world as the Chess Olympiad for people with disabilities becomes a part of the Chess Olympiad family.
Also, three international squads are taking part in the team competition. They are led by Poland, the winner of the 2020 Online Olympiad for people with disabilities, and Hungary, the two highest-rated teams. The Polish team won their third round encounter 3, 5 – 1, 5 against the FIDE side. – @brandon_malvin