Olympiad lessons, surprises and achievements by Zimbabweans

A fine day in office for the Zimbabwean chess team it was on the 25th of September 2018 in Batumi. The men’s team played very well on the 24th after defeating Nauru by 3.5 to 0.5. International Master Rodwell Makoto won in a pulsating game so was Mushore and Spencer Masango. Zhemba Jemusse drew his game to give Zimbabwe the much needed 2 points after faltering in the first round to Argentina by 4-0.

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Rodwell Makoto laying down the rod hard and not sparing the child| Photo by Ogunsiku Babatunde

The following game Zimbabwe played against Mexico and they drew their game. International Master Makoto won his game while Mushore Emerald lost on board two. He lost with the white pieces under time pressure and failed to manage the game as well as the time.

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Zhemba Jemusse | Photo by Ogunsiku Babatunde

Zhemba Jemusse’s game was roller coaster which eventually ended as a draw. Spencer Masango drew his game on board four. For this the team got the much needed point. This was a great performance to a team rated 2300+ against Zimbabwe’s 2189 average rating.

The females were white washed against the Austrian team. It was time for the ladies to show their mantle as they defeated a strong Tunisian team by 2.5-1.5. The third round was also very exciting as the ladies downed another powerhouse of chess. Woman Candidate Masters Makwena Christine and Paidaishe Zengeni won while WCM Charinda Kudzanai drew on board one. Colleta Wakuruwarehwa lost her game. This was an impressive result by the ladies.

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The talented WCM Christine Makwena | Photo by Ogunsiku Babatunde

They were not done yet as they managed a win against Maldives. WCM Charinda defeated Kiyan Mahomed on board one, while Colleta won against Aishath Alya and Christine Makwena defeated Nihaya Ahmed. WCM Paidaishe Zengeni lost a won game after she failed to manage her time. This led to a self-inflicting defeat after she failed to manage her time and eventually lost the game. The ladies team then won the overall game by 3-1. This was a commendable effort from these Zimbabwean ladies. This left them at 4 points.

The game for the ladies for round four was not good news at all as they played against a very strong Egyptian side which drubbed them four nil in an interesting fashion. The Egyptian ladies team has some Women Grand Masters in the mould of Mona Khaled on board one followed by Wafa Shahenda, another WGM on board two. On the next two boards there is Women International Masters Moaataz Ayah and Sherif Amina on boards three and four respectively.

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Coletta Wakuruwarehwa | Photo by Ogunsiku Babatunde

Meanwhile today the Zimbabwean men’s team got an important point after drawing their fourth round game against Albania. International Master Rodwell ‘Kotov’ Makoto saved the team from the jaws of a defeat after winning the all-important and deciding game for Zimbabwe as he defeated Grand Master Dervishi Erald whose rating is 2567. He played a pulsating end game which saw him marching all the way to b7 with the passed pawn in the b-file. The game was very tactical and as a tactical player Makoto converted a mouth-watering end game.

Not to be out done was the current National Champion Emerald Mushore who also converted a very well calculated game with the black pieces after swinging his rook to join the party. This decided the game as there was a decoy which left the over loaded Queen watching the tactical moves by black. International Master Mehmeti Dritan had no option but to resign in this game. After letting Zhemba rest, a new player Elisha Thabo was introduced and he failed the test as he lost in a tactical way after wrongly placing his Queen on the h5 square. Spencer Masango had to move to board three while Thabo played on board four. The final result was a 2-2 draw against this team.

In the ladies team Nomalungelo Mathe played while Colleta Wakuruwarehwa rested today.

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