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Joseph Mwale lifts Mdina title

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South Africa-based Malawi’s highest rated player, Joseph Mwale, lived up to his billing when he restored the country’s battered reputation after winning this year’s Mdina Open International Tournament.

Mwale collected 8.5 points from a possible nine to win the three-day tournament that ended on Sunday at College of Medicine Sports Complex in Blantyre.

“I knew that it would be tough but I took each game at a time. Like I said, this was my third time to participate, having missed some editions due to some commitments. I am delighted that I have won because some of my opponents from Malawi and other countries were equally capable of winning,” he said.

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The former national champion defeated compatriot Chiletso Chipanga, former champion Petros Mfune, Abdul Gaffar of Mozambique, George Mwale, Precious Kamwendo and Mozambican Wilton Calicoa on his way to victory.

Calicoa finished second with seven points whereas another local chess icon, Chipanga, who recently won a gold medal during Africa Amateurs Championship, finished on third position with 5.5 points.

In section B, Stanley Mpinganjira made an immediate impact on his return to mainstream chess after emerging champion and was followed by Stan Kafere on second and John Mkumba on third place.

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Mpinganjira registered 8.5 points whereas Kafere ended with eight points. Mkumba got seven points.

Mozambican Sheila Sitoi won the ladies section with 7.5 points with Constance Mbatha of Zambia finishing on second position with 6.5 points.

Malawian Desiderata Nkhoma ended on third position.

Chess Association of Malawi President, Kezzie Msukwa, paid tribute to South Africa-based Malawian engineer Tiwone Mdina for supporting chess.

“If we are able to attract players from other countries, it is because of Mdina’s sponsorship. It is my hope that this sponsorship will be sustained,” he said.

Mdina representative, Jeka Chipofya, reiterated that next year’s edition of Mdina would be the last.

“We are pulling out of the tournament but we hope to be available for other programmes,” he said.

Malawi National Council of Sports Board Member, Kanjedza Kamwendo, hailed Mdina for supporting the tournament.

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