When I told my friend “Robert has authored a book? He asked ‘’ which Robert?”….I answered, “there is only one Robert in Africa…”
Memories are still fresh of a 20-year-old Zimbabwean boy who defied all odds to achieve a 9 out of 9 score at the 2002 Chess Olympiad in Bled, Slovenia. The boy who later became Africa Champion in 2007.The undoubted emperor ‘’Mzilikazi” of the Zimbabwean chess Kingdom. Obviously not a boy anymore….however, like his namesake, Robert James Fischer before him, he, too, just disappeared from public chess.
As the African chess fraternity wondered where in the world could the African Robert be? And what could he be probably up to these days? Boom! International Master Robert Gwaze has brought us a present that will make every African chess enthusiast to smile. He has published his maiden chess book entitled “Life and Games of IM Robert Gwaze’’.
As the title suggests, the book, whose cover shows Gwaze playing chess with some boy, is basically an autobiography of his life and games. But Gwaze said the book also gives chess insights to upcoming chess players as it also has annotated games.
Gwaze further added that his top reasons for coming up with the book are: to share chess experiences, teach upcoming players and also to add to the growing tradition of African chess literature .
He says the book is selling at $20, and one can order it directly from him (+264 81654085).
While we are enjoying the fruits of a well thought out book by an African chess legend, Gwaze says the book project took him a whole year to finish.
“Ít took me a whole year to do the writing , editing and proof reading”, he said .
“Then I had to let it simmer for another year , until I felt time is ripe to publish it’’, continued a jovial Gwaze.
He says the book’s target audience is the Africa chess community .
“Whether one is just an enthusiast looking for a biography of a chess legend , there is something in there for you , whether one is a player who wants to improve one’s chess skills , there is also something in there for you” said Gwaze , who is regarded as one of the brightest chess minds to have graced the continent .
Gwaze had been a key man for the Zimbabwe chess team for many years until 2010 when he, for reasons best known to himself, decided not to push pawns in public again.
Despite numerous chess achievements, Gwaze singles out his performance at the 2002 Olympiad where he equaled Alexander Alekhine’s feat and Winning the Africa Individual in 2007 as his pinnacle chess performances.
Quizzed on his advice to upcoming chess players he said “Buy my book”
Gwaze is currently based in Windhoek, Namibia where he is imparting chess knowledge to kids through his coaching sessions.
In his chess journey , it has taken him to 3 continents :Europe , Asia and several countries in Africa .
Gwaze joins the list of fellow African authors like Dr Lyndon Boauah of RSA, Watu Kobese of RSA, James Dimba of Zambia, and Khisho from Malawi among others.
One of Namibia’s chess legends, Otto Nakapunda said he was looking forward to reading the book by the legend.
Fellow author Dr Lyndon Bouah from South Africa said: “Its great news that a former African champ has authored a book”
One of his fans Persivaal of Eswatini said: “the guy left a trail of inspiration. Looking forward to reading his book”.