By RONALD CHAWE –
ZAMBIA’S Geoffrey Luanja scored a fantastic 7.5 in nine rounds to win the 2018 Capablanca Masters section in Pretoria, South Africa.
Luanja won the event by a clear point ahead of Candidate Master (CM) Donaldo Paiva from Zimbabwe.
Botswana’s International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse was placed in sole third place with six points.
The hosts’ Matt Pon, who is Fide master (FM) trailed with a point in fourth position and was closely followed by CM Joseph Mwale of Malawi who accumulated 4.5 points a point ahead of two other players from South Africa.
In the GM Norm Section, IM Andrew Kayonde drew his final match against IM Kobese Watu to settle for sixth place finish after two losses in last three games.
After a long weekend filled with closely contested matches, Kayonde, who was fighting for GM title norm could only manage four points.
The Zambian was half and a point behind South African IMs duo of Daniel Cawdery and Watu who claimed fourth and fifth positions respectively.
He was 1.5 ahead of GM Alejandro Hoffman of Argentina who Kayonde beat during the early rounds of tournament.
Grand Master (GM) Sahaj Grover of India who dominated the GM section from start to finish, found himself in an almost unassailable position after scoring 7.5 points to win a section by a 1.5 points ahead of GM Alekstra Strikovic, who proved his class in coming second while IM Bernardo Mailhe from Uruguay was placed third.