As the players roll up their sleeves for the Zone 4.3 Chess Championship round 7 this morning, it appears each one of them has his score sheet limping with a fracture of some sort. The one that kept the enviable clean sheet after 4 rounds, IM Rokotomahoro “The Malagasy radar” met his fate when he was edged by the warrior from Zimbabwe, IM Rodwell Makoto in round 5.
After 6 rounds , it’s now a 3 horse race: The Malagasy Radar, IM Rodwell Makoto and IM Rarison Harifidy of Madagascar, who are all flying at 5 points.
Another chess cyborg,
IM Providence Oatlhotse of Botswana is closing in at 4 points.
However, out of the picture in this holy race, is Zambian chess ace IM Andrew Kayonde who has suffered 3 consecutive losses, including one to Malawian FIDE Master Joseph Mwale in the 4th round.
In the dreaded round six, it’s IM Rodwell Makoto vs IM Providence Oatlhotse on board 1, while the Malagassy radar will have to scrutinze fellow countryman Heritiana on board 2. The other contender, Harifindy will be up against FM Joseph Mwale on board 3.
In the ladies category WIM Caxita Esperance of Angola dictates things with a perfect 5 points score while Botswana’s WIM Francis Onkemetse, who drew with fellow Motswana Natalie Banda, is trailing with 4.5 points.
The event will go up to 9 rounds and the winner of the Open event will qualify for the Chess World Cup in Russia.