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Remarkable year for chess

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The Local chess landscape was full of interesting tournaments, with some individuals taking part in international championships.
Some championships such as Mdina and Divine Planet made headlines.
It was also an elective year for Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) regional affiliates.
Regional elections
The chess year started with regional elections for Chessam affiliates.
In the Northern Region, Stanley Mtuwa, who promised to develop chess in the region, beat Isaac Mumba to claim the post of chairperson.
In the Southern Region, Wasoka Chirwa, with the slogan ‘I want to make SRCL [Southern Region Chess League] great again’, overwhelmingly beat Bright Nthala to win the post of chairperson.
In Central Region, Moses Mtumbuka was also voted chairperson after defeating Petros Mfune.
Divine Planet
Early July, Central Region hosted a K2 million international tournament called Divine Planet Africa Global Tours and Travel, which attracted Mozambicans and Zambians.
However, it was Zambian International, Master, Gillian Bwalya, who won the tournament with a convincing 8.5 points out of 9.
Malawi’s blemishes were spared in the ladies’ category when Ellen Mpinganjira emerged the winner.
Zone 4.3 chess
Malawi was represented by Woman Fide Master, Linda Jambo, at the Zone 4.3 Chess Championship held in Botswana.
Well-wishers sourced funds for her trip and she did not disappoint.
Jambo returned home with reasonably good results. She was commended for her efforts in making the trip.
Mdina Open
In August, daggers were drawn in the Mdina Malawi Open in Mzuzu City.
Local and foreign players, including Zambians, took part in the event.
This time, it was, again, Zambian International Master, Chitumbo Mwali, who won the event.
Africa chess
Malawi had representatives at the Africa Individual Schools Chess Championship held in Zimbabwe.
Yebo Sanga, Tina Kumwenda, Daniel Khondowe and Kezzie Msukwa junior represented Malawi.
The up-and-coming players were sponsored by their parents and escorted by one parent, Yona Sanga, to Zimbabwe.
Malawi’s best was Yebo Sanga on position seven out of 24 participants under-11 category.
Satellite tourneys
Chessam also commended Daisy Nkhoma for participating in the Henry Chilufya Memorial Tournament held in Mansa, Zambia, at her own expense.
The Malawi ladies International finished on position six.
Chessam also commended Joseph Mwale and Richard Mbedza for participating in the Swaziland Open, and it hailed Joseph Mwale for tying on first position with Zambian, Musatwe Simutowe, in one of the events.
Batumi Olympiad
As the year is drawing to a close, Chessam is administering the Batumi Olympiad Regional Qualifiers.
Six players from each region have qualified to join 14 seeded players, including active Malawian players in the diaspora, at the qualifiers scheduled from December 29 2017 to January 2 2018.
Top three players in ladies’ and open categories would join seeded Fide Master, Gerald Mphungu, and Woman Fide Master, Jambo, in the qualifiers for the 43rd World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia.

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