I doubt if the president of Madagascar knows that his country will be a battle field of one of the deadliest wars in Subsaharan Africa. Today, 27th of April, the 2019 Zone 4.3 Chess Championship , which is also a World Cup qualifier, kickstarts in their capital Antananarivo promising gory.
For self honour and home security, Madagascar’s chess kingpin, IM Rakatomaharo FY Antenaina is expected to use his towering 2410 Elo rating radar, to check sophisticated projectiles from the likes of IM Andrew Ayonde of Zambia 2394 Elo, IM Rodwell Makoto of Zimbabwe 2368 Elo, IM Providence Oatlhotse of Botswana 2308 Elo, FM Joseph Mwale of Malawi 2281Elo, who are all aiming for the ultimate.
A total of 18 athletes from countries: Madagascar, South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola, Namibia, Mauritius will fight for honours in the Open category.
The last World Cup qualifying Zone 4.3 Chess Championship took place in 2017 in Lusaka, Zambia in an event which the eventual winner GM Solomon Kenny had his gun pointing at the back of the rest of the pack from the onset all the way to the last round. Last year’s event in Maputo Mozambique was won by FM Catarino Domingos of Angola.
In the ladies category WIM Laubscher Anzel of South Africa 1797 Elo, WIM Caxita Esperance of Angola 1794, WIM Francis Onkometse 1782 are tipped to cause a stomach churn among their opponents.
Aand then there is South Africa’s Megan Van Niekrek, won last year’s event in Maputo.
The ladies category has registered 10 athletes from Madagascar, Malawi, Botswana, RSA, Zimbabwe and Angola.
**Updated that GM Kenny Solomons will not be part of the tournament.