It’s King Roko!

When the draw was agreed in his last round game against his countryman IM Alain Rainavoharisoa on board one, 19 year old, IM Rokotomahoro “The Malagasy radar” would have as well started asking for a Russian dictionary, as it was known Maths that he only needed the draw to win the 2019 Zone 4.3 Chess Championship, and book himself a ticket to the Chess World Cup in Russia.

“The Malagasy radar” who is a student at a College in France, scored an impressive 7.5 points out of 9, half a point clear of his runner up, IM Rodwel Makoto of Zimbabwe who also drew his last game against IM Andrew Kayonde of Zambia on board 2.

On his way to success, “The Malagasy Radar”, held a sanctified clean sheet for the first four rounds of the event, only to suffer a not very surprising set back in round 5, when he lost to tough fighter IM Rodwel Makoto. He shared the top spot with Makoto and fellow Malagasy Halfindy for a little while, before leading the pack again with an unconvincing but useful half a point in round 7.

IM Rodwell Makoto ended on position 2 with 7 points , same number of points as number 3 FM Ralison Halfindy of Madagascar. The two were separated by the Bucholtz tie breaking system.

Miguel Sergio of Angola finished 4th with 5.5 points.

It was a case of “too late to save yourself” for tournament second seed IM Andrew Kayonde, who finished on 5th position with 5.5 points after recovering from a string of 3 losses. The 2 were also separated by the Bucholtz tie breaking system.

Ever fighting Providence Oatlhose of Botswana finished 6th with 4.5 points.

In the ladies category WIM Caxita Esperance almost annihilated the entire pack of ladies after finishing with 8.5 points out of 9. WIM Francis Onkometse of Botswana was number 2 with 8 points. Another Motswana, Malape Naledi was # 3 with 6 points.

The Zone 4.3 Chess Champion covers almost all countries from Southern Africa. Since 2013, the winner of these Zonal events qualifies for the chess world cup. In 2013 it was IM Gillian Bwalya who was pulverized by Grandmaster Vradmir Kramnik at the World Cup. In 2015, it was IM Richmond Phiri of Zambia who was ousted by American Supergrandmaster Hikaru Nakamura. In 2017 it was Grandmaster Solomon Kenny of South Africa.

This year’s event attracted participants from Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Madagascar, Angola and Mozambique.

The open category registered 16 participants of which 5 were International Masters, while the ladies had 10 participants with 3 Women International Masters.

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