The National Chess Championship which was supposed to be played in December last year in Manzini was postponed to April this year due to lockdown gathering rules.
The tournament started on the 24th of April and ended on the 26th of April 2021 at Caritas, Manzini.
Candidate Master Skhanyiso Persivaal emerged victorious after battling it out with Simphiwe Dlamini in the deciding Rapid and Blitz games. CM Skhanyiso scored a perfect 6/6 on days 1 and 2 and drew a game against Eswatini’s highest-ranked player in round 7 of the final day. Just when CM Skhanyiso thought he had won the tournament, his club mate Mbongeni Mabuza had other plans and ruined his party. CM Skhanyiso lost the last game which gave Simphiwe a chance to level points in the final round. All tied on 7.5/9 points, Rapid and Blitz games came into play to decide the Champion as per tournament rules. Two rapid(15+3)games were played all ended in a draw.
Two Blitz (3+2)games ensued to separate the two but also ended in a draw. Two draws prompted the tired Arbiter to introduce sudden death to separate the two great players. The victory, which took CM Skhanyiso Persivaal Sihlongonyane 2 hours 5 minutes, gave the 23-year-old his first National Championship against an in-form opponent who had won his maiden Open in Mbabane a few months ago.
The ladies section saw Temahlubie Dlamini winning the championship for the third successive time in a row. Unlike In the previous years, Temahlubie aka “Queen” didn’t have it easy. All tied on 5 points with Nomcebo Sibisi from Lubombo Chess Club, two rapid games were introduced with time controls of 15+3 to decide the eventual winner.
In attendance, was the Indian High Commissioner Her Excellency Ms. Radha Venkatartaman who’s also our chess Patron made the first move to kick start the game. Queen outplayed Nomcebo and won all two games to claim her third championship title.
Open section final standing
- Sikhanyiso Sihlongonyane 7.5 points. He was presented with a trophy, gold medal, cash prize shared using the Hort system, and a survenir donated by the patron Ms. Radha Venkatartaman.
- Simphiwe Dlamini 7.5 points. He was presented with a Silver medal and a cash prize shared using the Hort system.
- Vuyo Nxumalo 6.5 points. He was presented with a Bronze medal and a cash prize shared using the Hort system.
Ladies section final standing
- Temahlubie Dlamini 5 points. She was presented with a Trophy, gold medal, cash prize shared using the Hort system, and a survenir donated by the patron Ms. Radha Venkatartaman.
- Nomcebo Sibisi 5 points. She was presented with a Silver medal and a cash prize shared using the Hort system.
- Nolwazi Nkwanyane 4.5 points. She was presented with a Bronze medal and a cash prize shared using the Hort system.
Best Game of the of the tournament
CM Smilo Vs CM Simphiwe
CM Skhanyiso Persivaal Sihlongonyane and Simphiwe(joint)
Comedy of errors
Nosimilo Vs Sincobile blitz match
Final Ranking after 9 Rounds—Open
Ranking crosstable after Round 7—Women
Report by Eswatini Chess Federation Secretary