A Golden Performance!
Gwaze led Zimbabwe in the 2000 Olympiad in Istanbul with 6Ĺ-2Ĺ score, holding Romanian GM Mahail Marin to a draw and defeating IM Johny Ceuto of Bolivia. He also defeated Ethiopia's Mekitew Molla in a display of tactical brilliance. His performance was good enough for 7th place for board 1 players.
The 2002 Olympiad would be held in the historic chess town of Bled, Slovenia. This city was known for its famous 1959 Candidate's tournament as well as the 1961 tournament featuring the likes of GMs Bobby Fischer, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosian, Paul Keres and many other chess luminaries. It was at the scenic setting that Gwaze would make his mark by scoring an amazing 9-0 score for the gold medal. As the tournament wore on, the world's popular chess media paid little attention to what was brewing.
One opponent after another the young Zimbabwe was able to continue his march toward Olympiad history. His games against FM Abdul Hassan (UAE), FM Wong Zi Jing (Malaysia), Dewperkash Gajadin (Suriname), Dafi Almannai (Brunei) made lasting impressions. After the final tally was made, IM Robert Gwaze would record a 2690 performance and overcome the brilliant performance of GM Alberto David who scored 11-2 but had to settle for the silver medal for board 1 players.
Rules of Success
When asked of his study regiment, Gwaze remarked, "I spend six hours everyday doing as many tactical problems as I can handle and analyze one game thoroughly." He also likes to get a healthy diet of lightening games with friends. En route to the 2002 Olympiad he even found himself in battle with members of the Jamaica national team in Gatwick airport. In terms of the materials, he finds inspiration in the games of Bobby Fischer. "My favourite books include My System by Aaron Nimzowitch, Think like a Grandmaster by Alexander Kotov and My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer." His rule for success is to go over one's games, especially the losses, and try to root out the inaccuracies.
Interview composed from e-mail exchanges: January 2003