Kabera, Murara lead after day 2 in chess championship

Candidate Masters (CMs) Godfrey Kabera and Maxence Murara lead the table after the second day in the 2017 National Individual Chess Championship, which started over the weekend.
CM Maxence Murara now has CM Godfrey Kabera as main rival in the battle for top honours.
CM Maxence Murara now has CM Godfrey Kabera as main rival in the battle for top honours.

Candidate Masters (CMs) Godfrey Kabera and Maxence Murara lead the table after the second day in the 2017 National Individual Chess Championship, which started over the weekend.

The tournament, which will decide who becomes Rwanda's 2017 chess champion, will climax next weekend with the remaining four matches.

Currently, Kabera is number one on the table because of a tie-break advantage but Murara looks rejuvenated and eager to push it till the end and it remains unclear, who stands a better chance at the title given the odds.

On Saturday, Kabera first dispatched Joseph Nzabanita in a 19 move thriller in his first game of the day.

Next to be put to the sword was an unfortunate Dr. Ben Karenzi, who, unlike Kabera's first opponent, held his fort but lost.

Meanwhile, in round one, Murara mauled Ivan Mugisha. But Murara made a statement, or proved doubters wrong when he went on to defeat a fairly strong opponent, Eugene Mugema Kagabo, in the second round.

On Sunday, the two CMs were paired togather in the third round of games and Kabera missed a chance to win but luckily forced a draw as the duo shared the spoils.

In the fourth round, on Sunday, Murara dispatched Ben Tom Zimurinda while Kabera saw off Alain Patience Niyibizi.

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CM Godfrey Kabera knows there will be no room for error in the final rounds.

Kabera and Murara now have 3.5 points each followed by Zimurinda, Nzabanita and Dr. Karenzi, all with three points but separated by tiebreak, respectively. Much remains to be decided during the last four rounds next weekend.

There has been one highlight shocker so far. Next weekend Valentin Rukimbira will be climbing a very steep hill having, unexpectedly, lost his first two games on Saturday.

And it especially becomes too hard for him to turn tables now that the top two contenders very well know that there is no room for error.

Games in the ladies' section encountered a hitch as some competitors requested postponement due to overlapping school schedules, and will begin next week.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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