Last year Zimbabwe chess team participated in the African Games. For the first time ever Linda Shaba played for the senior national team.
The 12th edition of the African Games took place in Morocco from August 23rd to the 31st . Teams would participate in the team rapid (mixed), Rapid (open and women’s) and Blitz (open and women’s)
The 25th of August was a very special day for the Zimbabwe chess team they won the sport code first African games medal.
The highlight of the tournament should be the game against Egypt. Linda Shaba and Colletah Wakiruwarewa were both defeated by the Egyptian sisters Shrook and Shahenda Wafa.
The challenge was left for Makoto and Mushore to rescue Zimbabwe. Our biggest fear that our brothers were playing against grandmasters Ahmed Adly and Bassem Amin said Linda.
Makoto and Mushore managed to obtain a 2-2 tie against the tournament eventual champions. It was unbelievable and big shocker to everyone said Shaba. Our hardworking had finally paid off.
The win against Egypt contributed to the team success in securing a bronze medal in the team rapid mixed.
Asked how it felt winning Zimbabwe chess first medal at the African games Shaba said, she felt the sound of victory and it was everything, I was happy, my teammates were happy. And to this date this has been my biggest achievement ever in my chess career and it still means a lot to me.
Asked if they were anticipating to win a medal Linda said that winning a medal was almost impossible, especially for her since it was her first outing with the national team. Going into the tournament we were ranked 8th but we pushed and finished 3rd.
The 23 year old later finished 5th in the women’s blitz individual and 22nd in the women’s rapid individual an amazing achievement for a young chess player on her first continental outing with the national team.
This achievement can only be attributed to the fact that we maintained a positive mindset throughout the tournament said Shaba.