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Joseph Mwale in title contention

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Decorated chess player, Joseph Mwale, was Sunday in contention to restore Malawi’s reputation following bruises local players have been suffering at the hands of their Zambian counterparts in Mdina Open Tournament.

As we went to press, Mwale led with 6.5 points, having won six games and drawn once at College of Medicine Sports Complex in Blantyre.

The three-day competition was expected to wind up Sunday when Mwale needed a win and a draw to claim the title.

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With a rating of 2178, Mwale was expected to date less-fancied Aaron Phiri, rated 1,900. The Malawian’s other opponent was yet to be known.

However, Mwale was likely to face a less rated opponent, according to the draw which saw him playing against higher rated opponents in the opening five rounds.

“This might be my third time to participate in Mdina Open Tournament. I will try to win it in front of Zambians who dominate it,” said Mwale who became the first youngest player to win the Malawi national championship at 13 in 2007.

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On Friday, Mwale defeated Gafar Abdul of Mozambique and compatriots Petros Mfune and Chiletso Chipanga.

The following day, Mwale beat Wilton Calicoca of Mozambique, his elder brother George and drew with Zambian Mwape.

Yesterday, Mwale beat Precious Kamwendo.

Mozambican Wilton Caricoa was second with five points whereas Chipanga, who recently won a gold medal during the Africa Amateurs Championship in Zambia, was third with four points.

Chilekwa Mwape of Zambia and Izdine Gafar of Mozambique were also in title contention.

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