South Africa-based Fide Master Joseph Mwale and Chess Association of Malawi’s president (Chessam) Susan Namangale are the 2019 National Chess Champions that was held from 19-22 December at Lilongwe Crossroads Hotel, in men’s and ladies categories respectively.
Namangale claimed gold medal at the expense of active players after she stayed twelve years without playing.
Mwale secured an impressive eight (8) points out of nine (9), winning all his games despite forfeiting his round 3 game due to miscommunication on rescheduling of the round.
He went away with MK250.000 cash plus a trophy. He has earned himself a ticket to play at the World Chess Olympiad in Russia 2020.
On the other hand, Namangale (the only female chess President in Africa) scooped 6.5 points out of 9, and received a trophy plus MK150.000 cash.
“I decided to play this tournament because I am not seeing adequate competition among ladies, hence i wanted to increase competition”, said Namangale.
The remaining four slots in both Open and Ladies categories will be filled when Top 16 Men and Top 10 Ladies compete in April.
The 16 players who will battle for 4 slots are: Fide Master Gerald Mphungu and Candidate Masters Chiletso Chipanga, Joseph Nyambalo, Petros Mfune, Alfred Chimthere. The table is completed by Ken Forster, Joseph Mvuche Gondwe, Fischern Mwagomba, Hope Mwazozo, Richard Chiona, Ernest Matola, Peter Nyama, Stanford Chibambo, Wilson Chingati, James Kamowa, and Ronald Chimkute.
In the Ladies section, the top ten for April tournament include Desiderata Nkhoma and Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Ellen Mpinganjira. The other players are; Annie Simwaba, Royce Msiska, Tupokiwe Msukwa, Tina Kumwenda, Martha Kapalamula, Vitumbiko Gondwe, Shalom Kapende, and Charity Tadeyo.
This year’s championship had thirty (30) players in the Open section while Ladies section had fifteen (15) players.
Mr John Kaoche, the Principal Sports Officer in the Ministry of Sports, graced the event as the guest of honor.