By Mphatso Malidadi:
Malawi’s top rated chess player, Joseph Mwale, is keeping fingers crossed on his prospects of getting a new title at the end of the Zone 4.3 Games in Madagascar today.
Mwale, a Fide Master, is competing at the games alongside Woman Candidate Master, Ellen Mpinganjira.
However, both players were hit by flu at the games which made it difficult for them to compete favourably.
As of Wednesday, six rounds had been played with Mwale winning three games and drawing once while Mpinganjira won a game and drew once.
Chess Association of Malawi President, Susan Namangale, said Mwale achieved a milestone by stunning Zambia’s champion Andrew Kayonde.
“This is a great achievement for Joseph because his rating will go up,” Namangale said.
Mwale, who is based in South Africa, moved from Candidate Master to Fide Master following his performance at the 2018 World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia.
To become a Grandmaster, Mwale must first attain an International Master title.
Meanwhile, Namangale said they need more financial resources to improve on preparations for international competitions.
“For example, Madagascar players were being trained by Russian grandmasters to prepare for this tourney and their performance has greatly improved. Malawi has the potential and if we focus and prepare well, we can make it.
“We also need to send more players to big events to increase chances of winning. Our Botswana counterparts have seven players including two ladies at the competition,” she said.
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