Malawi’s Fide Master Joseph Mwale and Candidate Master Chiletso Chipanga shone like a beacon during the 2021 African Individual Chess championship held in Lilongwe.
The tournament came to an end on Thursday but after round nine, Mwale finished fifth with six points, missing World Cup qualification by a whisker whereas Chipanga finished on position seven with six points.
This is the best ever performance for the Malawian chess players in continental chess showpiece. Mwale and Chipanga are the only Malawian chess players who beat Grand Masters during the event.
Mwale said it was a great event.
“We played against the best chess players in Africa so it was difficult. But I am happy with my performance,” Mwale said.
The top four positions went to Egyptian grand masters, who also qualified for next year’s World Chess Championship.
Grand Master (GM) Adly Ahmed won the tournament with eight points followed by his compatriot GM Amin Bassem on eight points as well.
GM Fawzy Adham from Egypt came third with 7.5 points whereas his compatriot Hesham Abdelrahman finished fourth with 6.5 points.
Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama hailed the performance of Malawian players.
“The event was a success and I am impressed with the performance of Malawian chess players. This is giving us hope and it shows that we have talented players,” he said.
In the ladies category, Woman International Master (WIM) February Jesse Nikki from South Africa was crowned champion with seven points followed by Algerian WIM Nassr Lina on 6.5 points.
WIM Moaataz Ayah from Egypt finished third with 6.5 points whereas Zambian Women Fide Master Mwango Lorita came fourth with six points. Malawian Shriyan Santosh Priyasha finished seventh.
Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president Susan Namangale described the event as a success.
African Chess Confederation president Lewis Ncube hailed Malawi for hosting the event.