IM Richmond Phiri has won the 2019 Zambia Open International Chess Championship.
The event took place at the Olympic Youth Development Centre, in Lusaka from 28th June to 2nd July 2019. A total of just under 300 players took part in this chess bonanza which had four different sections. The main one was the Championship section, which had 76 players.
This event is one of Africa’s premier event and had a prize fund of just over USD 11,000 (ZMW 145,000). The top prize was an impressive USD 1,500.
IM Richmond Phiri obtained 7 points out of 9 rounds. He tied with four other players but had a higher tie-break score to take the winners trophy.
GM Petr Kiriakov, Prince Mulenga, GM Hesham Abdelraham, and GM Alexander Raesky also obtained 7 points. All 5 of the top players with 7 points equally shared ZMW 57,000 (USD 4,400).
Other key players
The hugely successful event saw a total of 4 Grandmasters and 7 International Masters taking part. It was interesting to note that Uganda had three of the of their top players taking part as well. These included IM Arthur Ssegwanyi, FM Patrick Kawuma & FM Haruna Nsubuga.
GM Petr Kiriakov of Russia was the top-ranked player with a rating of 2516. GM Sahaj Grover of India was ranked second with a rating of 2515.
IM Richmond Phiri played well when he defeated one of Egypt’s top players GM Hesham Abdelraham in round 4. He then drew with GM Sahaj Grover of India and GM Alexander Raetsky of Russia.
IM Richmond Phiri now qualifies to be a member of the 2020 Zambia National Team.
IM Andrew Kayonde v Prince Daniel Mulenga
Lorita Mwango was the winner in the Women Section which had 26 players.
Joseph Phiri has scooped the Open Section which had an impressive 150 players.
Innocentia Kawesha was the winner in the U 16 section which had 38 players.
The Championship section, which was the top one had a total of 78 players.
Prince Daniel Mulenga v Geofrey Luanja
GM Peter Kiriakov v Prince Daniel Mulenga
Makhosi Makhisho Nyirenda ‘Khisho’
Makhosi Makhisho Nyirenda aka ‘Khisho‘ was a special invited guest for the event. He is a well-known chess journalist and promoter in Malawi and the region.
Khisho made chess history when he published a book titled ‘Chess Injection‘ which is a 126-page book. The book covers a wide range of topics. These include the relevance of chess in modern societies, a bit of theory and the struggles of a third world player.
The book also includes several notable quotes from Khisho.