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Bwalya retains Zimbabwe Open title

ZAMBIA’s International Master (IM) Gillan Bwalya has retained the Zimbabwe Open Chess Championship title garnering 7.5 points after nine rounds at Ambassador Hotel in Harare.
Bwalya’s title defence came under threat when he lost to Botswana’s sole representative IM Providence Oatlhotse in the eighth round but recovered in the final round and beat Emerald Mushore of Zimbabwe.
Bwalya had an impressive outing recording seven victories, a draw and a defeat to pocketed US$1,200.
Another Zambian -Candidate Master (CM) Andrew Kayonde finished second with 6.5 points.
Kayonde drew against compatriot IM Stanley Chumfwa in the eighth round and recorded another stalemate against Oatlhotse in the last round.
Kayonde walked away with US$800.
IM Richmond Phiri was tied on six points with Oatlhotse but the Zambian finished third because of a tie break.
Phiri beat compatriot Godwin Phiri in round eight and followed it up with another victory over compatriot Stanley who finished fifth.
Elisha Chimbamu was the best performer for Zimbabwe finishing in sixth position alongside four Zambians who included Godwin Phiri, James Dimba, Douglas Munenga and Kelvin Chumfwa.