Eichab Takes Lead in Chess Grand Prix

Chess master Charles Eichab scooped top honours in the first leg of this year’s Grand Prix (GP) after scoring 6.5 out of 7 points, to leave teenage sensation Immanuel Gariseb (6 points) and the veteran Otto Nakapunda (5.5 points) both trailing in 2nd and 3rd places.

The best female chess player was Lutopu Lubinda, who scored 4 points, sharing 11th place with 8 other players in this tightly contested 25 minutes-per-player tourney. It was the first of 5 legs to be played this year with the top eight players all collecting GP points. Each player’s best performances in 4 of the 5 Grand Prix encounters will be used to determine the overall GP winner. Eichab stormed into the lead and had the tournament virtually wrapped up by the time he drew his only game against Nakapunda. “It was a great tournament and I’m quite pleased with my performance,” he said. “The aim is now to maintain the momentum going into the second leg by playing well in Arandis.”

Rising star Gariseb pulled himself together following a second round loss that saw him finish with 5 straight victories, including wins over seasoned contenders Fremantle Kuhanga and Claudio Adolfo in the last two rounds.

Adolfo also had a good tournament, handing Nakapunda his only loss of the tourney, to finish in shared 4th place on 5 points. Others who scored five points and had to be separated by tie-breaks were McLean Handjaba, newly crowned blitz champion Goodwill Khoa, Kuhanga, Jossy Uapingene, William Kamberipa and Thomas Ehrich. Apart from Kamberipa and Ehrich, the rest all scored GP points. The sponsor of the GP1, which attracted more than 40 players, was Ben Ngairorue. The next leg will be played on April 12 with registration opening on Monday next week already.

Source : New Era