By RONALD CHAWE –
ZAMBIA’S Geoffrey Luanja moved a step closer to winning the 2018 Zimbabwe Easter Open chess tournament after finally breaking away from joint leadership to open up a half-a-point lead going into the last three rounds of the tournament in Harare.
Luanja has 5.5 points after six rounds.
After starting with a perfect four points, Luanja drew against joint leader Emarald Mushore of Zimbabwe but responded with a win in the next round against Zhemba Jemusse while Mashore drew his game against Zambian star Prince Mulenga.
Zambia’s Gillan Bwalya, Timothy Kabwe and Mulenga are within touching distance with five points, like two other players.
Luanja has a tough game in the seventh round game against International Master (IM) Bwalya in an all-Zambian affair.
Mushore, in joint second, has another Zambian to deal with in the seventh round in Kabwe with Candidate Master (CM) Dion Moyo the other player on five points.
Other 10 players that included Zambian Fide Master (FM) Douglas Munenga had 4.5 points.
Another Zambian CM Godwin Phiri is struggling to cope and is in 32nd position on 3.5 points.
In the ladies section, after round six, Milika Tembo picked back-to-back wins over Charlotee Mhoshiwa and Vimbai Chikowore to move to the ninth place with four points to join other six players while Mary Mashane remained stuck with three points after she lost two games in a row and was placed 18th on the log.
Meanwhile, six players recorded a perfect two points at the ongoing 2018 Copperbelt Open Easter chess tournament taking place at Northen Technical College in Ndola.
These were Terece Chasaya, Chikuse Phiri, Indala Meya, Mwansa Mambwe, Joseph Meleka and Charles Kachenjela.