Rodwell Makoto leads Zimbabwe into battle in Batumi – Round 5 report

Zimbabwe played another interesting game as they battled it out with Morroco. The game was another draw making it a third draw Zimbabwe got at these competitions. The fifth round had a lot of fireworks as players were on each other throats as they seized every opportunity in the game. There was a fierce battle on board one where International Master Rodwell Makoto battled it out against International Master
Tissir Mohamed whose rating is 2388 against Makoto’s 2338 rating. At one time some people thought that Makoto was going to be swindled but alas that was a story for another day as the tactical Makoto found a killer Rg8+ which left Tissir with a piece down after his Bishop was collected. Tissir had no option but to resign as he could not stop the marching pawn on c6 which was a passed pawn.

This game was the game of the day as it saved the Zimbabwean team from the jaws of defeat and the team was thrilled by the series of correct moves which were hard thought by the tactical International Master Makoto.

Not to be outdone was Candidate Master Spencer Masango who won his game against Aithmidou with a rating of 2244. Spencer Masango had the black pieces and converted in a very tactical fashion in which the latter was forced to exchange his Queen to avert a mate, but the material was enough for Masango to convert the game.

Emerald Mushore played with the black pieces against International Master Onkoud, Abdel with a rating of 2315. Mushore lost a tightly contested game which at one time seemed to be drawn but he miscalculated in the ending as he failed to contained a passed pawn on the h-file. In fact one might say that Mushore might have pushed too hard for a win which however turned as a pendulum.

Zhemba Jemusse returned on the checkered board after resting against the Mexicans. He, however, lost his game after wrongly sacrificing on h5 square. The same square that haunted Elisha Thabo in his loss on the Mexican game which resulted in him losing a Queen.

Overall the team played to a 2-2 draw. The team faces Nigeria in the sixth round and this promises to be a very exciting duel. By the time of writing there were no teams which were published. The probable team for Zimbabwe is International Master Makoto on board one, Emerald Mushore on board two, Zhemba Jemusse on board three and Spencer Masango on board four.

The ladies lost their match today. Woman Candidate Master Kudzanai Charinda and WCM Christine Makwena salvaged draws against their opponents. Overall the team lost 3-1. The other two Zimbabwean ladies Colleta Wakuruwarehwa and Nomalungelo Mathe lost their games. The winning team which they played against is Chile. The Zimbabwean ladies play against Panama on Sunday hoping that they pull a trigger against a side which they defeated in the 42nd chess Olympiads held in Baku in 2016.

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