'Women can also play chess'

HARARE - Chess in Zimbabwe is dominated by male players.

However, Zimbabwe national women chess champion Tatenda Zengeni is set to break newground Zengeni started playing chess when she was 10 years, four years later she was crowned Zimbabwe’s schools chess champion.

The 20-year-old Chinhoyi University student, who is popularly known as Polgar Tasty, won last year’s women’s national title.

“I’m really proud of myself, many women in our country did not recognise the sport but I want to urge them that chess is not only for men even women can do it. As for me I’m aiming to be African champion,” Zengeni told the Daily News on Sunday.

“When I first started playing, people introduced to me the idea of being the national women’s champion."

“I did not think about it much because for me it seemed like an impossible feat, and I didn’t think it could happen. I wasn’t as focused and dedicated as I am now. I didn’t think I was a good chess player — people told me I was, but it wasn’t my mentality at that moment.”

At the just-ended Zimbabwe Open Chess tournament, Zengeni finished with six-and half-points behind Boikhutso Mudongo who obtained seven points.

She also participated at the Olympiad in Turkey and however, failed to live up to expectations and finished with six points.

“Any chess player improves her skills through study and practice.‘The game of chess is different every time, as moving one piece differently changes the entire outcome and context of the game,” said Zengeni.
“Becoming a good chess player is something that happens over time, provided you are dedicated to playing the game on a routine basis.

“If you are just starting out in learning chess, play against someone with a moderate skill level so you can learn through play that does not end quickly.

“Take notes while playing and ask questions about the other player’s strategy.” - Blessings Mashaya

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