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Robert Gwaze is back

May 23, 2017



Robert Gwaze (b. 1982) is a Zimbabwean chess player born in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is a former student at Prince Edward School, in Harare. At age 15 he was a Zimbabwe National Chess Champion at both junior and senior levels.

Gwaze won the African Junior Championships in Kenya in 1998, and got the International Master (IM) norm. Probably his greatest success was at the 2002 Chess Olympiad tournament in Bled, Slovenia when he achieved a rare perfect score, winning all nine of his games on first board for Zimbabwe.

In 2007, he won the African Individual Chess Championship in Windhoek, Namibia, earning a spot in the 2007 Chess World Cup. In this qualification tournament for the 2010 Chess World Championship Gwaze was eliminated in the first round by fifth-seed Alexei Shirov. In 2010 he came first in the Cuca Trophy international tournament in Luanda, Angola. He took part in the Chess World Cup 2011, but was eliminated in the first round by former FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov.

He won a tournament in Angola which was a star-studded field. Some other Grandmasters took part in this tourney. He won the tournament with a full point. Since he was now only left with one norm to become GM he managed to do just so but we don’t know what happened. He is a history making and breaking chess player. He was supposed to become Zimbabwe's first and Southern Africa's second Grandmaster, after Amon Simutowe of Zambia. There was a lot of potential for Robert Gwaze and it was unleashed in Angola. He conquered Africa twice at the AFRICA JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS and the Africa championships which he won in 2007 in another star-studded field which also had some African Grandmasters from Egypt and Tunisia. He beat Simutowe in one of the most interesting games of the tournament as he claimed that championship before the latter became a Grand Master.

In 2008 He represented Africa at the World chess championships held in Moscow, Russia.

Lack of funds was the main stumbling block for Gwaze. I saw him as an IM 7 years ago. Among other noteworthy accolades he won a gold medal which Armenia Olympiads, where strong players like Gary Kasparov failed to get the gold medal. My opinion is that he should have been awarded the title then. Anyway patience is virtue. The Zone 4.3 is here and who knows, he can be the next GM in Southern Africa. What the chess fraternity is lacking is the sponsorship. Now that we now have IM’s in Zimbabwe our plight now is to have FIDE rated tournaments in Zimbabwe. The dream that was started in the dusty streets of Glen Norah has been brought to reality.

Rules of Success
When asked of his study regiment, Gwaze remarked, "I spend six hours every day doing as many tactical problems as I can handle and analyse one game thoroughly." He also likes to get a healthy diet of lightening games with friends. En route to the 2002 Olympiad he even found himself in battle with members of the Jamaica national team in Gatwick airport. In terms of the materials, he finds inspiration in the games of Bobby Fischer. "My favourite books include My System by Aaron Nimzowitch, Think like a Grandmaster by Alexander Kotov and My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer." His rule for success is to go over one's games, especially the losses, and try to root out the inaccuracies. 



                            Written by Chanda Boyd Nkasanya 

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