CM Sikhanyiso and Sincobile Emerges as Winners: Highlights from the 2024 Eswatini National Chess Championship

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    CM Sikhanyiso Sihlongonyane and Sincobile Dlamini emerged as champions in the 2024 Eswatini National Chess Championship, held at Simpa Campus in Matsapha, South Africa, from the 25th of April to the 28th of April, 2024. The event, hosted by the Eswatini Chess Federation, drew chess enthusiasts from far and wide. CM Sikhanyiso triumphed in the Open section, while Sincobile Dlamini won in the Women’ section. Candidate Master Sikhanyiso joined Mbongeni Mabuza and CM Smilo Hlophe to win the National Championship twice.

    Despite facing tough opponents like CM Similo Hlophe, CM Sikhanyiso bounced back after an early setback. Notable battles included a draw with ‘the Undertaker,’ his clubmate, in an exciting match. On day one, things did not go well for CM Sikhanyiso as he lost in round 2 to CM Similo Hlophe. However, he bounced back on the following day, scoring 2.5 out of 3 games and reaching a total of 3.5 points. In rounds 5 and 6, he defeated Malinga Lunga and Simphiwe Dlamini. At one point, he tried to negotiate a draw, but his opponent did not agree. It took him more than 11 minutes to find a move that resulted in a draw.

    CM Sikhanyiso Sihlongonyane at the Eswatini Chess Championship

    In the Women section, Sincobile Dlamini displayed her skills, securing victory with a flawless performance. The tournament highlighted the talent, competitive spirit, and sportsmanship of Eswatini’s chess community. The Women competition mirrored the men’s with 10 players aiming for the top spot as the “Only Queen” of the kingdom. The first day saw strong performances from familiar faces until Temahlubi Dlamini withdrew, giving defending champion Nomcebo a clear path. However, Sincobile Dlamini dominated from day 2 onward surprisingly, defeating challengers like Nosimilo Mkhonto and WCM Nosipho Dlamini without losing a game.

    The winners, CM Sikhanyiso and Sincobile received top honors and prizes, where CM Sikhanyiso received E3000, a trophy, and a medal and Sincobile Dlamini got rewarded with E2000 and a medal . The top 4 in the Open section and the top 3 in the Women section were awarded cash prizes and medals, where the second in the Open section received E2000 and the third position got E1000, while in the Women section, the second got E1500 and the third got E800. Additionally, the top 4 in the open section secured spots on the national team, with the fifth player to be selected by the Eswatini Chess Executive Committee.

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