It won’t be an easy weekend for Mdina chess champion Peter Jailosi, as he has to defend his title from formidable local chess forces in a fierce final at Victoria Hotel in Blantyre.
Jailosi, who defied all odds to win the Mdina title in Mzuzu last year, will have to tussle with household names like Alfred ‘Great Finisher’ Chimthere, Gerald ‘General’ Mphungu, Petros ‘Razorblade’ Mfune and Chiletso Chipanga in the do or die finals.
Local chess analysts say Jailosi’s, position looks more like that of a cornered rat than a charged up bulldog.
But despite this overwhelming attack, his supporters are optimistic that, when the going gets tough, Jailosi will just detonate the very moves of mass destruction that massacred local chess bulldogs including Mphungu and Chimthere in Mzuzu last year.
Jailosi, renowned for his unique ability for killer moves in crumpled positions, indicated on he was ready for any attack, and was not moved by the threats.
“I know it won’t be easy of course. I know I am in danger, but they are in danger too. Why can’t we just wait and see what transpires on the chess board,” he said.
However, players like Alfred Chimthere, Chiletso Chipanga and Gerald Mphungu have issued stern warning, saying they were not travelling to Blantyre for a holiday and Jailosi’s reign would not last.
“We are coming to play the mind game to the best of our ability. The trophy will definitely go to Central region,” Chimthere said.
Another player, Mfune, made the whole tussle very interesting when he asked Jailosi to quickly give up the title.
“We are giving him two days to peacefully hand over the trophy or he risk facing embarrassment on the chess board. Tikubwera kuzalanda ufumu wake (we are coming to overthrow your kingdom),” he said.
Zomba-based chess genius Chipanga said he cannot wait for the Mdina encounter.
Other chess geniuses also capable of upsetting tables in the event include, Fidelis Jimu, Kajani Kaunda, Richard Chiona and Precious Kamwendo.
In the ladies category, defending champion, Linda Jambo, is expected to be opposed by the likes of Daisy Nkhoma, Ellen Mpinganjira and Magret Ngugama among others.
Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) chairperson, Terrence Namaona said such war of words was good for the development of the mental sport.
Namaona said there would also be lucrative prizes for the top 10 players in each category.
Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) publicist, Makhosi Nyirenda, heralded it would be the toughest event in local chess history.
The champion of the open category will walk away with a cool K250,000, while the ladies champion will walk away with K100,000.
South Africa-based Malawian entrepreneur, Tiwone Mdina, partnered with compatriot, Wezi Chipeta, to sponsor this year’s championship.
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