Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Zimbabwe

Robert Gwaze of Zimbabwe earned his "fifteen minutes of fame" at the 2002 Chess Olympiad by winning a gold medal with a sizzling 9-0 score. Immediately he became a sensation, but a recent report out of Zimbabwe states that the national icon may have been shorted. While gold medals are awarded by the international body (FIDE), there are no monetary prizes. Each country may award players with gifts as a way of building national pride and to serve as incentives for future competitors.

A January 2nd article in
The Zimbabwean states that Charles Kuwaza, then a chess official, had made assurances to Gwaze that he would receive a monetary prize for bringing honor to Zimbabwe. Apparently, this prize has not been produced.

After winning the gold, Gwaze sought greater exposure in England, but later moved to Malaysia to work at the ASEAN Chess Academy. The article did not include comments from Kuwaza or the Chairman of Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC) named in the article as "Musangeya."

Read story from The Zimbabwean!
IM Robert Gwaze holding trophy after winning Olympiad gold medal. Copyright  2002 Barbados Chess Federation.

IM Robert Gwaze after accepting his gold medal. Photo courtesy of Barbados Chess Federation.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 2 February 2007