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Joseph Mwale, Chessam saga turns sour

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The African Chess Confederation (ACC) has asked Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) to resolve its misunderstandings with Fide Master Joseph Mwale.

ACC President Lewis Ncube said this following Chessam’s failure to respond to the questions of the ACC Players Commission, which wanted to know why the body [Chessam] replaced Mwale with Candidate Master Chiletso Chipanga before the Chess World Cup got underway.

“Your refusal to respond to the questions of the ACC Players Commission appears to suggest that we are unable to reach the intended goal of this process,” reads the letter dated 16 July 2021 and signed by Ncube.

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“The Board of the African Chess Confederation, nevertheless, still urges that the Chess Association of Malawi reaches out to FM Joseph Mwale to find a mutually acceptable solution to this unfortunate situation.”

In the communication, Ncube urges Chessam to reach out to Mwale to find a mutually acceptable solution.

“For your information, the ACC Players Commission is a legally established Committee under Clause 13 of the Statutes of the African Chess Confederation,” the letter reads.

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Mwale, in his complaint to Fide Ethics Committee, said he suffered character assassination after being accused of using drugs, alcoholism and possible sexual harassment of a female chess player.

“This was character assassination at its height, and for what? To justify her reason for replacing me on a wild card she got from the Fide President in my name?” he asked.

Mwale also said that his sour relationship with Chessam dates back to 2014 when he was among three players that were banned for asking for allowances while on international duty in Namibia.

“The Federation (Chessam) once banned me and other players when we complained over allowance issues which they promised and failed to deliver in the 2014 Africa Individual Championships in Namibia. That time, they said they were suspending us from chess in Malawi forever. The issue was only resolved when a major sponsor, Mr. [Tiwone] Mdina, told a lawyer to intervene,” he said.

Chessam President Susan Namangale said they were due to respond to ACC yesterday as we went to press.

However, in an earlier statement, Chessam stood by its stance.

“The Chess World Cup is a high-level chess event and Chessam could not risk sending a player whose conduct was questionable and would put not only the association but the country in an awkward situation.

“FM Joseph Mwale, being a star player in Malawi and a flag carrier, we expect him to be exemplary in both skill and behaviour in order to motivate up-and-coming players as a role model,” read the statement.

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