Joseph Mwale is the 2017 KwaZulu-Natal Open champion as well as the 2017 KZN Blitz champion. Congratulations are in order to the Man whose nickname is The Fear. His opponents in the Open and Blitz tournaments had good reason to fear the man whose play has become the stuff of nightmares for many a player over the checkered board. Mwale, who entered the tournament as second seed, rated behind International Master (IM) Johannes Mabusela outperformed his second seeding. Mwale had a FIDE rating of 2124 which is more than 120 points below Mabusela’s 2250. He can expect to gain a number of rating points after his impressive tournament.
As if winning the main tournament was not enough Mwale also won the blitz tournament which was played after the main tournament. It is difficult enough to dominate one type of play in chess. It is extremely difficult to win both the classical and blitz versions of a tournament. The author asked the KZN Chess Federation President Erick Takawira how Mwale had become such a strong player. His response was Mwale works hard and doesn’t shy away from tough competition. Mwale’s exploits in the local chess scene have not gone unnoticed. For some time now he has been very active in tournaments and is prepared to travel hundreds of kilometres to take part in premium chess competitions.
Mwale finished with 6 points at the KZN winning 6 games losing one game in the last round to Brighton Mthunzi who travelled all the way from Joburg together with a number of other chess players. Tied in second place where Brighton Mthunzi and Stephen Skosana on 5.5 points. In Fourth place was IM Johannes Mabusela who finished with 5 points.
The Organizer(s) and tournament director for the tournament was Erick Takawira. He was ably supported by Chief Arbiter FA (FIDE Arbiter) Keith Rust (14306794) and RA Rahul Beekrum. The time control tournament was 90/90, that is 90 minutes per player. The tournament was hosted by Northlands Primary, Durban. The average rating for the tournament was 1688.
A very big thank you to President Erick Takawira and his team at the KZN Chess Association for hosting a successful chess tournament. We are already looking forward to the next event. Keep up the excellent work.
Here is the final crosstable after 7 rounds.
Here is one of the games from Joseph Mwale.