Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwean team participating at the inaugural International Chess Federation (FIDE) Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities in Belgrade, Serbia started their campaign with a draw in the first round against The International Chess Committee of the Deaf (ICCD) team.
Zimbabwe, who are one of the three African representatives at the Olympiad drew 2-2 against the strong ICCD team. The tournament ends on February 5 having begun on January 29.
The two points for Zimbabwe came from Tapiwa Gora 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 Kyrgyzstan 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. – @brandon_malvin