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3 giants fall in Paul-Mike qualifiers

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Top three chess players have failed to progress to the Candidate Matches level in the Paul-Mike chess championship following qualifiers held over the weekend.

The qualifiers have cost the heads of some well-known players but the big shots that have failed to make it include Peter Jailosi from the South, Alfred Chimthere from Central Region and Raymond Chitedze in the North.

Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) publicity secretary, Makhosi Nyirenda, said the fall of the giants was an indication that the race was stiff and unpredictable.

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“Some of the players were actually tipped to win the championship or reach the final round but they were knocked out,” he said.

Meanwhile, all the three regions have selected players to battle in the next round.

In the South, Precious Kamwendo qualified with seven points and Mike Msowoya was next with six points out of seven games.

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National team player Davie Mawango and Central Region’s new revelation Ronald Chinkute, qualified. Mawango had 7.5 points while Chinkute settled for seven points. They played nine games each.

In the North, it was again National team player Wilson Chingati and Kelusi Mhango. Chingati posted 7.5 points and was followed by Mhango with seven points as well. Similarly, players from the North played nine games each.

The six have qualified for the candidate matches to be played in Lilongwe in a few weeks time where they will be joined by the seeded and highly-rated players, Fide Master, Gerald Mphungu and Candidate Master Chiletso Chipanga.

The eight-man candidates’ tournament, will be played in a double round robin, will determine the player who will challenge the current Paul- Mike champion.

The Paul-Mike defending champion and player of the moment, Petros ‘Razorblade’Mfune, will have to play this challenger in a match of 12 games.

This is the third edition of the Paul Mike National Chess championship. Chipanga won the inaugural one and was dethroned by Mfune last year. Mfune last month also won the Mdina National championship.

The Paul Mike has since been sponsored to a tune of K600,000.

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