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Paul and Mike chess get underway

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The duel in the Paul and Mike national chess championship begins today when Zomba chess-sniper, Chiletso Chipanga, date Lilongwe’s Petros ‘Razorblade’ Mfune at Cross Roads Hotel.

The two chess archrivals are on top of their game and are expected to play in a 12- game spanning three weeks.

This year’s Paul and Mike match is a repeat of last year’s competition when Mfune came from behind to dethrone Chipanga as the competition’s champion.

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It is expected to be a very closely contested match as both players have hit top form of late.

Just in the last month, Chipanga lifted the Mphande-Muleso Open championship while Mfune won the Mdina Open.

Chipanga, who is widely known for his trademark gambling tactics on the chess board, has told the press that he would tease the defending champion.

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“Last time I gave him so much freedom to attack me, but this time I will attack the Razorblade till he becomes blunt,” he said.

On the other hand, Mfune, renowned for his brutality in the endgame, said he was ready to defend his title, and would punish his challenger.

To qualify as a challenger, Chipanga beat six other top players, including celebrated Fide Master, Gerald Mphungu, in a candidate’s tournament that took place last week.

The Paul and Mike match is sponsored to a tune of K600,000. The tournaments organising chairperson, Mayeso Mphande, said it would be a tough contest.

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