The Zimbabwe University Sports Association (ZUSA) Games hosted a chess tournament for the Universities in Zimbabwe from the 12th to the 15th of April, 2018, at the National University of Science and Technology, with all the games being played at Milton Boys High school in Bulawayo during this period.
Fireworks and brilliances were all over the checkered boards and a lot of exciting chess ideas, tactics, strategies and doggedness were witnessed during this event as the hosts showed their arrant dominance in the ladies section by scooping the gold medal in the Open ladies section.
The tournament, which had participants from twelve (12) Universities in Zimbabwe, lived up to its billings as the ladies from these universities fought for every point they got and in total, the chess fiesta was a very good tournament experience for the ladies, with each team comprising of 4 players and two reserves.
In round one (1) the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) team, consisting of players such as: Nyashanu Cynthia, Mashayamombe Samantha, Mahla Chelsea and Mangwayana Grace (which was the board order from boards one (1) to four (4) respectively), defeated Chinhoyi University of Technology by three and a half (3.5) points to half a point (0.5), with the half point gotten by Mapondera Chido, who played on board three (3) for the team. The remaining two (2) ladies who were also a part of the UZ team as reserves were: Vimbai Mutingarife and Eunice Nharaunda.
Round two (2) had the huge surprise of the tournament, as the University of Zimbabwe were held to a two (2) all draw by the Midlands State University, with Chiriya Takudzwa and Chikowere Vimbai pulling off wins against Nyashanu Cynthia on board one (1), and Mahla Chelsea on board three (3), respectively, while the National University of Science and Technology continued their dominance, as they swept Lupane State University aside, to go prepare for the most important round of their tournament.
The National University of Science and Technology (NUST), who were the major contender for the title, being led by WCM Paidaishe Zengeni, fell to University of Zimbabwe in the third (3rd) round, as UZ bounced back from the round two (2) draw to stand tall above their rivals. Paidaishe was the only player in the team to secure a victory for NUST, as UZ ran riot over their rivals with three (3) victories in the third round.
From this point onward, the UZ ladies never looked back, as they demolished all who stood in their way of success at the event, finishing the tournament as the only team without a loss, to ensure that nobody displaces them from the top of the log.
The Lewis Kahoba coached University of Zimbabwe finished in first position and took home the team gold medals. They were followed closely by the Kudakwashe Sibanda coached National University of Science and Technology (NUST), who finished second and went home with the silver medals. And Midlands State University (MSU) would have bit their fingers as to what could have been after being relegated to third (3rd) position, half a point behind NUST at the end of the tournament.
The coach of the winning team opined that: “The ladies did very well, they really wanted the gold so much that they felt they needed to pull off something special against National University of Science and Technology after dropping the points to draw against Midlands State University. I believe they were excellent throughout the tournament and if they keep this momentum going, I foresee an unstoppable contingent for Zimbabwe, as each and every of them have the potential to excel and to be in the national chess team.”
All the medal winning universities placed from gold to bronze will represent their respective Universities at the Zimbabwe Tertiary Institutions Sports Union. This sports extravaganza will be held at Bulawayo Polytechnic from 11th-13th of May, 2018.
The winning teams from the various events of the universities, Polytechnics and Teachers Colleges will converge to Bulawayo on the aforementioned dates for the crucial finale, which would see the winners representing Zimbabwe against other countries after victors emerge from those games.
We look forward to this exciting event, as we hope to continually see great chess battles from these ladies!
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