INTERNATIONAL Master (IM) Gillan Bwalya over the weekend marked his return to chess with an amazing win in the highly competitive Liyoca Open Chess tournament amassing 6.5 points from a possible seven.
As Bwalya was causing havoc in the men category, another comeback kid Lorita Mwango was equally menacing in the women section where she also finished with 6.5 points from a possible seven to take the women’s Liyoca Open title.
Back to the men section, playing competitive chess for the first time this year, having stayed out due to police service training at Lilayi Police College and missing a huge debate about which player deserves to be in the national team, Bwalya was simply ominous on the board.
On his way to the title, Bwalya defeated the strongest players in the country at the moment that included the likes of IM Daniel Jere, the highest ranked player, Andrew Kayonde and Kelvin Chumfwa with his only blemish being a last round draw against another local chess giant in Nase Lungu.
Finishing second was Kayonde, who won all but one game at this tournament to edge Liyoca May Tournament winner Stanley Chumfwa to the second place position despite tying on six points.
Like Kayonde, Stanley won all his games apart from the clash against Bwalya while Nase Lungu, Jere and Richmond Phiri finished on 5.5 points to take fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively.
In the women’s section, Mwango was also competing for the first time this year due to school commitments at the Copperbelt University and she showed she belonged to the top drawer by winning all but one game which she drew.
On her way to the title, Mwango thumped her fierce rivals like Constance Mbatha, Precious Nshikokola and Phyllis Mwilola and her only draw was against Linda Hamoonga, who also finished on 6.5 points but was edged on a tie breaker.
Mbata finished in distant third with five points and three other players in form Bwalya, Mulwala, Mary Mashane, Mwilola, Natasha Chileshe and Nshikokola all finished on four points.
In the under-16 category, Elias Musonda finished with a perfect seven after battering his opponent to take the junior title with Vukani Kakanda and Sekelani Tembo finishing in distant second and third with five points.
Times of Zambia