Gokwe team fails to travel for World Chess Championships
Gokwe (New Ziana) – A dream trip by five students from Cheziya High School in rural Gokwe to Kazakhstan for the 2023 World School Team Chess Championships has gone up in smoke due to travel logistics bottlenecks.
The five-member team, and their coach Blessing Jemani, failed to secure a connecting flight to the Kazakh city of Aktau where they had to be by Friday.
The trip was affected by delays by a bank to transfer a grant of US$10 000 from government to the team for airfares, resulting in the tickets being cancelled.
The cost of the tickets then went up by more than double when the team made new travel bookings, but they failed to find connecting flights to the tournament venue in time.
The Zimbabwe Chess Federation (ZCF) said it was devastated by the team’s failure to travel, and also to see all its efforts to assist in vein.
“We have done all in our capacity to get our team to the venue and failed. Connecting local flights within Kazakhstan were not found all day to the remote town venue which is 2800km away from the Main Airport of landing in Kazakhstan,” ZCF secretary general, Todd Mapingirebroke, said.
The tournament was running from August 3 to 8.
The Cheziya team was made up of Anotidaishe Makumbe, Gamuchirai Gogoma, Mudaki Gerald, Kaitano Ishmael and Mutema Ezywell.