Zimbabwe chess Federation president Collen Tongoona

Tongoona hails chess athletes

ZIMBABWE Chess Federation president Collen Tongoona expressed satisfaction with the level of competition and turnout of athletes participating in the ongoing Zimbabwe Open Chess tournament at Joina City Complex, Harare.

The four-day event commenced on Friday and will conclude tomorrow with over 150 athletes from across the country taking part.

Tongoona said they were amused with the level of competition and number of athletes who attended the event as compared to the previous tournament.

“The tournament has been going well and we were even surprised with the number of athletes who attended this major chess event. We have at least 140 athletes participating and the level of competition is very high.

“Our athletes are very excited to be taking part in this national tournament. The competition is very high as the top players are fighting for the top price which is US$1000 which is a lot of money.

“The talent and competition are very high and the outcomes of the games are very unpredictable. So we expect a lot of surprises from upcoming athletes

“We are excited about this event and we are working flat out to ensure its success. It has been a difficult time for sports due to the pandemic which is the reason why a few tournaments have been held.

“It’s great to see chess events being hosted and as a Federation, it gives us satisfaction to see our sport thrive,” said Tongoona.

He was also pleased with the number of female athletes taking part as he believes will go a long way in the emancipation of women through sport.

 “This time it is a positive move to have 20 female athletes participating as compared to our last competition where we only got four ladies participating.

 We have over 20 female ladies fighting for honours and it’s a great achievement towards women’s emancipation,” he added.

The tournament’s major sponsor Minerva Risk Advisors injected a total of US $10 000 to make it one of the biggest chess tournaments in the country.

The tournament will see the male senior category winner walking away with the US $1000 prize money and the women seniors winner will pocket US$ 800.

Defending champion Spencer Masango has already won two of the eight rounds and is being tipped to defend his title, while female defending champion Kudzanai Charinda is also being tipped to win the title.


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