Stage set for Minerva Open Chess tourney

Takudzwa Chitsiga

Sports Reporter

THE stage is set for the annual Minerva Zimbabwe International Open Chess Tournament that will see chess masters and amateurs from Africa’s Southern Region converging in Harare from May 25-28.

The Minerva Zimbabwe Open is the country’s biggest chess competition, sponsored by Minerva Risk Advisors, and has been running for the past three years.

This year’s edition is special because the international body FIDE has been impressed by the consistency and immense growth of the tournament and has as a result rolled out a tournament grant to boost the event.

 The first edition of the Minerva Zimbabwe Open was played in December 2021. The competition keeps getting bigger and better than its preceding edition. 

Minerva Zimbabwe International Open Chess Tournament has a US$7 150 purse for the two categories combined.

The Open section has a whopping $1 300 first prize, with the women’s section champion set to walk away with $1 000.

During the last edition, Zambia’s International master Gillian Bwalya, won the tournament after getting the better of FIDE Master Roy Mwadzura.

 Mwadzura will be expected to build from last year’s impressive form to defend Zimbabwe’s pride. He will be complemented by the Zimbabwe national team squad led by the on-song Emarald Mushore, Steward Bank Easter Open Tournament and outgoing National Chess Champion, FIDE Master Jemusse Zhemba, Spencer Masango and a long list of Zimbabwe’s upcoming talent.

Kudzanayi Charinda, who has dominated the women’s section, will also be expected to lead from the front.

Zimbabwe’s best women players include Linda Shaba, the 2021 Champion, and Christine Makwena.

The Zimbabwe Chess Federation president Muchakanakirwa Mkanganwi expressed excitement at the prospect of the competition and expressed gratitude to Minerva Risk Advisors for continuing to uplift the level of chess in the country

“This is one of the biggest chess competitions in Southern Africa and also Africa at large. 

“We look forward to hosting some of the best chess minds from a number of countries and from the interest so far shown, it promises to be the biggest competition we have had.

“We are extremely grateful to Minerva Risk Advisors for sponsoring this event, the Minerva Risk Advisors Board of Directors for their sterling efforts to make this tournament a success that it is today,” said Mkanganwi.

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