By RONALD CHAWE –
FIDE Master (FM) Douglas Munenga jumped into the lead of the ongoing Mukubulo Chilufya Open Zone-Three chess tournament in Kabwe with 3.5 points after four rounds.
However, Munenga, a national team player, had four players hot on his heals including veteran Nase Lungu on three points.
Lungu will be a attention as he makes a comeback to the top and after starting with a defeat to Mwansa Mambwe went on to chalk up three straight wins to bring him to half-a-point off the leader and perched in joint second position.
Others with him three points are International Masters (IMs) Richmond Phiri and Kelvin Chumfya as well as Prince Mulenga.
The leader had won three matches over Kabwe Lwamfwe, Mwansa and Kela Kaulule which were sandwiched by a second round draw against Charles Hapaku.
Placed on 2.5 points was a set of five players in Hapaka, Kaulule, Mwansa, Godwin Phiri and Robson Kameya with Justin Daka, James Dimba, Gilan Bwalya and Dion Moyo from Zimbabwe on two points.
Surprisingly, tournament favourite IM Chitumbo Mwali was hovering in the 17th place with 1.5 points coming from three successive draws before losing the fourth round game to Lwamfwe.
In the Women Section, Women Candidate Master (WCM) Linda Hamoonga and Women Fide Master (WFM) Lorita Mwango were in firm command with 4.5 points after five rounds.
Standing just half-a-point off was Kabamba Bwalya and Vivien Sitali with WCM Constance Mbatha leading five other players on three points including WCM Phylis Mwilola, Mary Mashane and Zangowanachipwila Nshikokola.
Meanwhile eight players were tied on three points in the Open Section that has attracted 119 participants.
The group was led by Mushota Kantalamba, who was closely followed by Taimon Mukupa, Gerard Miti and Cletus Siamalindo, who were graded second third and fourth respectively.
Others were Kachinga Simbeye, Terence Chasava, Ronald Sakala and Timothy Mapili positioned fifth, sixth seventh and eighth.