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Zambian wins chess open

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ZAMBIA International Master, Gillian Bwalya, scooped first position in the Divine Planet and Africa Global Travel and Tours (DPGTT) Open Chess Championship held in Lilongwe from Friday to Sunday night.

Bwalya won with eight points out of nine, half a point clear of his runner-up, fellow Zambian, Godwin Phiri. Bwalya pocketed K500, 000 plus a trophy whereas Phiri got K200, 000. Bwalya was delighted with his performance.

“It feels good to win the tournament but it was not easy because my colleagues also did well,” he said.

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Malawi’s chess darling, Joseph Mwale, who plies his trade in South Africa, finished on third place with seven points followed by Fide Master, Gerald Mphungu, on fourth position with the same number of points.

The two were separated by a Bucholoz tie-breaking system, whereas Godfrey Luanja and Alfred Chimthere took positions five and six, respectively. Mozambican CM Caricao, who had a brilliant tournament, survived a six-man tie-breaker to end on position seven.

Malawian Ellen Mpinganjira won the ladies’ category and pocketed K200, 000 plus a trophy.

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Central Region Chess League spokesperson Chimthere described the tournament as a success. “It was one of the best ever tournaments. All the players showed great character,” he said of the competition which Chess Association of Malawi Chairperson, Kezzie Msukwa, also watched.

The championship, which attracted 70 participants from Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique, is one of the biggest locally.

Divine Planet and Africa Global Tours sponsored the competition, previously known as Muleso and Mphande Chess, to the tune of K2 million.

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