Gwaze captures Botswana Open!

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Whatever happened to Robert Gwaze, the gold medal sensation at the 2002 Olympiad in Bled, Slovenia? Lately he was spotted in Botswana winning the Botswana Open International Chess tournament with an undefeated score.

IM Robert Gwaze
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One of Africa’s brightest chess masters, Robert Gwaze of Zimbabwe, won the Botswana Open International Chess tournament undefeated yesterday. Mmegi Online reports on the tournament featuring a cast of local nationals challenging the Zim Master. Only Barileng Gaealasfwe was able to nick him for a half-point. Botswana’s top-ranked player Phemelo Khetho lost to Gwaze, but would finished in second with 6/7.

There were 50 players in a setting that was said to be less than expected for such a tournament. There were also some problems with the prize fund. The tournament attracted 50 players, including 13 with FIDE ratings This included nine Candidate Masters, two Women FIDE Masters, one FIDE Master and one International Master.

As for Gwaze, he has been shuttling around southern Africa and hopes to gets a chance to parlay his skills in strong invitationals. Gwaze scored 9-0 in the 2002 Olympiad to earn the board one gold medal. Since then he has been in England, Singapore and South Africa.

Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe, “Zimbabwean wins Botswana Chess Open,” Mmegi Online, 13 December 2010.


  1. Regarding this Botswana Open, I am puzzled whether that tournament was actually FIDE rated. When I wrote to register, I took note that the tournament regulations stopulated that there was only 90 minutes in total per player per game. Since I am rated abote 2200, I assumed that I could not take part, playing 3 rounds a day like that, against the FIDE rules for thinking time.
    However, observing that Gwaze won, and I assume that he is rated far above 2200, then either the tournament was not FIDE rated, or Botswana got a an excemption from FIDE?! Any clarifying comments to this puzzle?

  2. Niels lauritsen,

    Under FIDE statutes it is not the number of rounds per ser that is the determining factor, but the number of hours of play. Play may not exceed 12 hours, and in this regard the Botswana Open is within the rules. May I also add that we have had other tournaments with three rounds a day rated as long as 12 hours is not exceeded. Therefore, I can assure you that The Bots Open is a FIDE rated event.


    Secretary General
    TEL: (+267) 72114080

  3. Dear Secretary General,
    Thanks for your reply. Only, what was the thinking time per player per game? Just clarify this, and the issue is over.
    I was surely sad to miss your event.
    Best regards,
    Niels Lauritsen

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