COPPERBELT University (CBU) student Lorita Mwango is just one win away from retaining her Zambia Closed Chess Championship title.
The tournament being played at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka saw the Copperbelt University (CBU) student top with a perfect five, which 1.5 points clear of her closest opponent Epah Jere.
Mwango, who is proving to be a step ahead of her fellow women players in the country, can retain the title with a round to spare from her two remaining matches.
After Opening Day wins over Bwalya Lubuto and Jere, Mwango added three more casualties on Day-Two and Three in form of Linda Hamoonga, Phyllis Mwilola and Mary Mashane.
She now only has Bwalya Kabamba and Precious Nshikokola to play in the last two rounds with the draws only to be made today though Jere is second on 3.5 points with Hamoonga, Lubuto on three points and joint third.
In the men’s section, Andrew Kayonde soared to the top of the ranking with 5.5 points after six rounds and has a cluster of players including hot favourite Daniel Jere just below him on five points.
Also on five points with Jere is Geoffrey Luanja and Justin Daka but Kayonde will not be bothered about Daka and Jere whom he has already played, beating the former and drawing with the latter.
Kayonde will play Luanja in a seventh round match on board one while Jere on board-two was up against Daka looking for a first win in three matches after drawing the previous three rounds.
In joint third was a group of eight players on 4.5 and these are Thomas Zulu, James Dimba, Robby Kameya, Oscar Mwenya, Godwin Phiri, Bornface Ng’onga, Vernon Muma and defending champion Richmond Phiri.
Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, Zambia’s Constance Mbatha was displaced from the top to fifth position after two straight losses to be on 4.5 points. Mbatha is 1.5 points off leader, Women International Master (WIM) Anzel Solomons who defeated her in the sixth round.
In the men section, Gillan Bwalya got to the top of the standing where he is boasting with six points from seven rounds with his only blemish being a second round loss to Zimbabwean Elisha Chimbamu who is now sixth with 4.5 points.
Otherwise, it was a sweet outing for the Zambians who are holding the top five position with Chitumbo Mwali half-a-point away from Bwalya on 5.5 points while Douglas Munenga, Prince Mulenga and Kelvin Chumfwa on five points.
The other Zambians at the Zimbabwe Easter Prestige Classic are Kela Kuela, Kennedy Katowa (four points) and Gift Bwalya who is on two points.
CREDIT – TIMES