CLIFFORD Tsamba was recently crowned the African champion at the just-ended African Individual Draughts Online League.
The 39-year-old Zimbabwean went 19 rounds unbeaten in a heavily-contested inaugural online league.
The tournament, held from September 26 to October 10, saw 20 players participating online.
Draughts (British English) or checkers (American English) is a group of strategy board games for two players.
It involves diagonal moves of uniform game pieces, and mandatory captures by jumping over opponent pieces.
Draughts developed from alquerque.
The name derives from the verb to draw or to move.
And Tsamba said he was happy with his achievement.
“I am elated, having won the first African Online Draught League,’’ he said. ‘’This is even more special, after going undefeated against 19 players, winning 17 games and two draws and bagging 36 points.
“It was a tough tournament but the experience I gained, after playing for the country in Russia in 2017 and winning the first African online championship, gave me confidence.
“I am grateful to the Zimbabwe Draughts Federation, and my partner Tonderai Mbereketo, who came third, for the support and encouragement.
“I urge all aspiring draught players to aim to represent the country and practice whenever they can.”
Mbereketo came third after winning 13 games, losing three and drawing three.
Another Zimbabwean, Shepherd Manhanga, finished 17th, after winning only three games at the tournament.
The tourney featured 20 players from Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Ghana and Mozambique.
ZIMDF secretary-general, Michael Mukwaiwa, said he is proud to be part of a success story of draught in Zimbabwe.
“We did not despair during this Covid-19 period. We abide by the measures of controlling the disease by joining the virtual events, and this creativity and innovation, shows the world that this is a mind game where we are not found wanting.”
ZIMDF president, Andrew Gwatidzo, said due to the Covid-19 pandemic, game enthusiasm led to the development, and consolidation, of online draughts.
Draught is now a registered sport under the Sports Commission.