Makoto wins South African Open

Rodwell Makoto (Zimbabwe)

Rodwell Makoto of Zimbabwe won the 2012 South African Open with superior tiebreaks over IM Johannes Mabusela, GM Ahmed Adly and Daniel Cawdery. All ended with 9/11. Makoto finished undefeated and drew with both Adly and GM Antonio Fernandes.

Adly was upset by Craig Bornheim in the shock of the tournament and could not overtake Makoto in their round nine encounter. The third Grandmaster in the field was France’s Thal Abergel who ended in a massive seven-way tie for second on 8.5/11. He was upset by WIM Cecile Van Der Merwe, but then won five in a row and lead the field going into the last round. He would lose his encounter against Adly and finish out of first place.

This was the biggest victory for the Zimbabwean Master since his breakout performance in the 2011 African Championships. He is also the 2011 national champion of Zimbabwe winning 9/9.

Final Results


  1. Makoto has proved to be a chess titan with his consistency. Congrats Kotov! Keep our Zim flag rising. The Glen Norah Knights youngsters are 100% behind you.

  2. What is Makoto FIDE rating? Is there a cross table of the tournament available? A great tournament victory!! Congrats!!

  3. This guy is had a great performance, 9 of 11 and drawing two GMs. Also, I notice that he won the National tournament with a perfect score 9 of 9. On would think that the GMs would out perform the NM, but we can see that it’s not so simple.

  4. Glenn,

    African players are woefully underrated. In my view, Makoto is at least 2300-2400 strength. Many don’t have the opportunities to play abroad with a larger pool of higher-rated players. There is also a scarcity of tournaments in Africa, so they have to compete with other lower-rated Africans. My suggestion has always been to continue to attract GMs to the continent and strong tournaments such as those in Angola, Botswana and South Africa can set the stage.

  5. Thanks Daim for pointing out how zimbabweans are lowly rated yet quite strong. Another example in this tournament Adly droped a half point playing the white pieces against another Zimbabwean Daud Amini. It would be a bad idea for a GM to visit Zimbabwe and play a simul thinking its going to be a walkover against untitled players, another example at this tournament GM THAL of France played a simul and guess who drew him? A Zimbabwean playing black pieces Reuben Salimu!

  6. I hope to see zimbabwe participating at the upcoming olympiad. I want to see gwaze and makoto in action.

  7. Go Makoto!

    Daaim, for players who are likely underrated due to circumstances, I wonder if some egg heads with a lot of time on their hands could run games through computer analysis and guesstimate these players’ true playing strength. If the right analysts abroad could take a large sampling of games and come up with a theoretical FIDE rating for Makoto and others just out of curiosity, I wonder if it could attract more people to come down to Africa and play them?

    1. It may to the Africans’ advantage to remain underrated so they can claim unsuspecting victims! 😉 In all seriousness, I believe GMs are beginning to learn about this issue and come to Africa knowing they have to give their best. GMs know that they have to fight hard to maintain their ELO!

  8. Thanks rodwell we grew together in zim. Its true many
    Africans are underated when in actual fact they are strong

  9. Well-done Roddy that’s brilliant!!! You have kept up the good spirit and form and that’s interesting. You never turned your back on chess from those days at MBU High School-show them its not where you came from but where you are going!!!!

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