Don't mess with Texas' Tapiwa Gwaze!
Tapiwa Gwaze. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

Tapiwa Gwaze on the attack at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Texas is known as the "lone star" state, but another one has risen on the chess scene. Tapiwa Gwaze is a 14-year old scholastic star making inroads. The rising 10th grader and Zimbabwe native learned the moves from his father David Gwaze in 2001. He only began playing competitively in January 2003 after he was introduced to tournament chess at his school. He scored 4-1 (1235 provisional) in his first tournament and after many successes, soared from 1644 to 1807 in the 2004 San Antonio Championship. Less than a year later, he reached his peak rating of 1901 at the Dallas Chess Club.

Tapiwa has participated in the
U.S. Junior Open the past two years scoring 4-2 both times. He is very active and is considered one of the brightest scholastic stars in the state of Texas. He won the 8th grade championship in 2004, but after entering high school in 2005, Tapiwa decided to concentrate on a smooth transition to high school and took a break from chess. He resumed in  mid-2006. Later in the summer, he scored 4-3 at the U.S. Open and is now setting sights to break the 2000 rating barrier (currently 1898 USCF). Those who have seen his play state that he is a fierce and relentless fighter. As a result he has beaten many players 200-300 points higher.

Tapiwa was born April 1992 in Harare, Zimbabwe and moved with his parents to Scotland two years later. At only 4 year of age, he was enrolled in the 1st grade, but the Gwaze family moved to the U.S. in 2000. There is no apparent relation to International Master
Robert Gwaze, but they do know of their namesake (now based in Singapore). Tapiwa primarily has increased his strength through an self-study, an active tournament schedule and playing at the Internet Chess Club (ICC). His other interests include playing tennis and watching both baseball and basketball. He has a chess playing brother, Tafadzwa (12 years) and a baby brother, Tanyaradzwa (16 months). His mother Amanda Gwaze shows immense pride in his accomplishments and is no doubt his biggest fan!

Tapiwa Gwaze vs. Florintos Inumerable. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

Tapiwa Gwaze vs. Florintos Inumerable at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 30 August 2006