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New rules in Paul and Mike chess race

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Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) has drafted new rules to make the Paul and Mike National Championship exciting.

The new rules call for the two best regional performers in the qualifiers to eliminate each other in a six games-format.

It is quite a serious atmosphere in the leagues as one must go, and one must qualify. This means the finals will have five players instead of eight as earlier announced.

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Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) already started and Precious Kamwendo, who was position one during the region’s qualifying games, has already netted 1.5 points.

In Northern Region Chess League, national team player, Wilson Chingati, was held to a one-all draw by the no- nonsense Kelusi Mhango. They are also expected to play two games this weekend.

However, that was not the case in the Central Region Chess League where the dreaded action between national team player Davie Mawango and Ronald Chimkute could not start on the chess board for some technical reasons.

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However, the verbal action has already started with both players beaming with confidence that they will qualify. They are also going to start their games this weekend.

Tournaments organizing chairperson, Mayeso Mphande, said such long match games would prepare the players for the long games heat that is there in international tournament.

The three regional winners will join top seeded players Chiletso Chipanga and Fide Master Gerald Mphungu in the Paul Mike candidate’s tournament to be played in Lilongwe in a few weeks time.

The five-man candidates’ tournament will be played in a double round robin and would determine the player who will challenge the current Paul-Mike champion Petros ‘Razorblade’ Mfune.

Mfune will then play against the yet to be identified challenger in a match of 12 games.

This is the third edition of the Paul Mike National Chess Championship. Chipanga won the inaugural one before Mfune dethroned him.

The Paul-Mike has since been sponsored to a tune of K600,000.

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