By staff writer
A Chinotimba Primary School chess wizard, Duncan Mahata, won resoundingly at the Bulawayo
Junior Chess Championship in the Under 16 category at the School of Mines last weekend.
The tournament was hosted by Bulawayo Chess Association (BCA).
The victory earned the 13-year-old Grade 7 learner a competing berth at the national championship
to be held in Harare on a date yet to be announced.
Mahata’s coach and teacher, Denford Marufu was ecstatic as he described the boy as a chess master
who has the capacity to compete at any level with confidence.
“Duncan plays chess with great passion. He has a bright future in the sport and I am not surprised
that he clobbered all his opponents at the school of mines in the under 16 category. He gracefully
accounted for opponents from Bulawayo, Tsholotsho, Harare, Plumtree, among others,” said the
coach while revealing that his player often faces financial challenges when travelling for individual
competitions. He is a perennial competitor in tournaments such as the Heroes Open, the Zimbabwe
Open and the Easter Open.
Mahata is confident of beating any team or individuals thanks to the rigorous and tactful training he
gets from his coaches.
“I am happy that I won the tournament. This was an individual tournament and I think I performed
very well. I won a medal, a certificate and a shirt,” said the pint sized player whose face beamed with
Chess is an indoor game which was mainly a preserve for former Group A schools before the
updated curriculum saw the introduction of the sport in all categories of schools in the country.