All eyes on Mentors during Malawi chess club champions     

The surprise package of the Malawi chess national club chess champions set for Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe on July 28 are Mentors Chess Club, which will field veterans who plied their chess trade nearly two decades ago to prove that age has the best experience for the game.

Battle of wits during Southern Regional League qualifiers

Following the regional qualifiers in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu last month, four Malawian chess clubs — Flying Horses from the North, Sapitwa from the South, Mentors and Area 25 Castles from the Centre — will battle it out in this game of wits.

The champions, who will receive a prize money of K250,000, a trophy and gold medals, are also set to represent Malawi at the Africa Club Championship in South Africa from August 7-12, 2019.

Mentors, comprising Susan Namangale (Chessam President), Blessings Kamanga (Under 20), Mayeso Mphande, Ulemu Chiluzi, Mpilo Mizere, Sungani Chalemba, Ackim Mwale, Mark Chikoko and Candidate Master Joseph Chalemba, finished behind Area 25 Castles in CRCL to book themselves a prestigious ticket to the national finals.

The other CRCL representatives, Area 25 Castles, has Khama Chindole (captain), Praise Kalambo (Under-20), Loyce Msiska (Lady), Hope Mwazozo, Stanford Chibambo, Candidate Masters Alfred Chimthere, Petros Mfune and George Mwale.

SRCL’s Sapitwa has Praise Salima (under 20), John Mkumba, Patrick Kamwendo, Mailosi Msikiimodzi, Overton Kanyinji, and Stanley Biyasi while NRCL’s Flying Horses comprise Tina Kumwenda (lady), Davis Paul Ngwira (Under-20), Raymond Chitedze, Wilson Chingati Banda, Wilson Banda, Fiskani Mwagomba, Malama Mwanza, Fide Master Gerald Mphungu and Member of Parliament Kezzie Msukwa, who is African Chess Union (ACU) general secretary and a former Chessam president),

Each team will field five players plus two substitutes and also must have either a lady player or an Under-20 on board 5. The playing format format is All-Play-All of 3 rounds of games per team.

Runners-up will go away with K200,000 and silver medals while bronze medalists will receive K175,000 with 4th-placed team getting K150,000. Cash prize for player of tournament is K25,000.

Central Region Chess League (CRCL) has contributed two teams Area 25 Castles and Mentors, because they had more registered teams than the other regions. CRCL registered 7 teams, SRCL had 3, while NRCL had 2 teams.

According to Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) publicity secretary Alfred Chinthere, swapping or changing of board numbers amongst the starting players shall not be allowed but substitutions will be permitted.

“Substitutions shall be communicated to the technical team 10 minutes before the start of the next round and the list of players should be sent via whatsapp to chairperson for Arbiters Commission, Gilton Nkumbwa (0999 559 160) with copies to Chessam General Secretary (0888 856 228).

“Only players who paid their individual registration fees to Chessam shall be allowed to play. Featuring of an unregistered player will lead to points forfeiture or a fine (twice the amount owed to Chessam).

“Fixtures for all games shall be released on Thursday, July 25, 2019,” Chinthere said in a communique.”

Club chess returns at national level for the first time since 2017. The last edition was held under the auspices of Professor David Mkwambisi, at Kumudzi Eco Lodge along the Bunda road in Lilongwe, which was won by SAC chess club of Blantyre.

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