By RONALD CHAWE -
ZAMBIA’S Epah Tembo finished as the best player at the 2017 KCF Africa Team Chess Invitational tournament held in South Africa over the weekend.
As if that was not enough, compatriot Geoffrey Luanja was the second best performer in the tournament that was won by a team called Invitation-Three after it garnered 18 points from the seven games.
For Tembo, who was playing for SA Veterans, the former Zambian women champion finished with 6.5 points from a possible seven to be the tournament’s best performer with a win rate of 92.8 per cent.
Tembo, who is the Women International Master (WIM), won her six opening games beating among others Women International Master (WIM) from South Africa and Algeria in Tshepang Tlale and Khadidja Latreche respectively.
She then drew her last fixture against fellow Zambian Lorita Mwango for the 6.5 points.
For Luanja, the upstart, who was leading Team-Zambia, finished the tournament with 5.5 points to take the individual silver.
Host country’s Fide Master (FM) Matt Pon, who was leading Invitational-Three team, was third with five points, at par with countryman Kgaugelo Mosetlhe who was with Team-ChessExcellence-Two.
The other players, who finished on five points included South Africa’s Dumisani Jacobn, Heinco Du Plessis, Hussain Bhawoodien and Malawi’s Candidate Master (CM) Richard Mbedza.
Other members of Team-Zambia saw Timothy Kabwe take ninth place and Mwango in 10th with 4.5 points while Clement Mayimbo was in 22nd position with 2.5 points.
Zambia’s Judah Simulundu, who was with Invitational-One team, settled for the 17th position with 3.5points.
In the team event, Team-Zambia was second with 17 points, one point off winners Invitational-Three, SA Veterans finished third with 16 points, ChessExcellence-One fourth with 15 points and in fifth place was ChessExcellence-Two on 13.5points.
Other countries that were represented were England, Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe