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Council salutes chess players

FLYING THE MALAWI FLAG HIGH—Players and officials pose for a photograph after arrival at Kia

Malawi National Council of Sports has congratulated chess players who represented the country at the 44th World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.

The players returned home from the Asian nation Thursday through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.

The competition started on July 28 and ended on Wednesday with Malawi winning four titles.

The global contest, which is held every two years, had over 2,000 competitors from 187 countries.

Sports Council Public Relations Officer Edgar Mtulumbwa commended the players for the titles they managed to attain at the tournament.

“This is a clear sign that sport is making good progress in this country. We have managed to compete with the world’s best and we stood our ground. We feel proud to have players who can brush shoulders with the top stars,” Mtulumbwa said.

Chessam President Susan Namangale said results from the competition are an indication of the game’s development in the country.

“Our performance in the game has greatly improved over the years. This is the first time we have four titles on the world’s biggest stage. Chess in Malawi is surely on the rise and things can only get better.

“It is also pleasing that one player has attained the status of a Fide Master. This is in addition to the two Fide Master titles we already had. As if this was not enough, three players have attained the level of Candidate Master,” Namangale said.

She said Chessam intends to send players to Nigeria for the Africa Individual Championship scheduled for next month.

“The support we have enjoyed from the government over the years is encouraging players to continue performing well. We now want them to go to Nigeria so that they continue to test themselves against the best.

“We believe the government will also support us so that this trip does not fail. The more we participate in these tournaments, the more we will improve our game,” Namangale said.

Out of eleven games, Malawi’s ladies’ team won four, drew two and lost five while the men’s side managed five wins and six losses.

Tupokiwe Msukwa had a tournament to remember after becoming Malawi’s 15th player with a title.

Msukwa earned the Woman Candidate Master (WCM) title after her outstanding performance.

Alfred Chimthere was also in a class of his own as he earned the Fide Master while Stanford Chiwambo lifted the Candidate Master title.

Martha Kapalamula’s performance was also enough to earn her the WCM title.

The closing ceremony for the tournament took place at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Wednesday evening.

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