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Mdina in drastic changes

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Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) and Mdina Open Chess Championship organisers have unanimously agreed to take off qualifiers and reduce registration fees ahead of this year’s event.

The move is aimed at garnering more local chess players to compete in the championship that is expected to start on June 14 at a venue to be announced.

Following the development, each participant in the open section will pay K5,000 instead of K6,000 whereas the ladies section will see each competitor paying K3,000 instead of K4,000.

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This will be the first time since 2012 for players to compete in the finals without taking part in qualifiers.

Both Chessam and Mdina officials have called on local players to register and utilise home ground advantage to end foreign players’ dominance.

A representative of Mdina Business Solutions and Engineering, Jeka Chipofya, said the decision was popular as it is aimed at increasing the number of local players at the event.

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“Sometimes, upsets happen during the qualifiers so that some players who are in good form are denied a place at the finals. So we want everyone to prove their mettle,” Chipofya said.

On his part, Chessam Publicity Secretary, Makhosi Nyirenda, said the association is hoping that local players would utilise the chance to gain more exposure in the game.

“We want the event to be accessible to a wide spectrum of people including students. It is our wish that we hit the 100 participants mark. That is one way of developing the sport,” Nyirenda said.

Recently, South Africa-based Malawian entrepreneur, Tiwone Mdina, announced that his engineering and business solutions firm would withdraw sponsorship next year.

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