The K2m million Divine Planet And Africa Global Travel & Tours Open Chess tournament took off Friday, July 7, 2017 at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Lilongwe with a total of 70 players from Malawi, Zambian and Mozambique battling it out in both the Open and Ladies sections.
Dubbed the toughest ever chess tournament in Malawi, the competition was opened in the morning hours by Divine Planet managing director Deborah Mphande and her Africa Global Travel & Tours counterpart Hellen Muleso, who played a symbolic game.
After the opening ceremony it was serious business with most locally based Malawian players, playing second fiddle to Zambian and Mozambocan players in the Open section.
However, South African based Malawian players Joseph Mwale and Chiletso Chilanga managed to come out with clean sheets after winning their first three games against locally based players.
They will be up against Zambian players tomorrow in what proves to be tough and exciting contests.
Blantyre based Fide Master Gerald Mpungu was the other Malawian player, who did not disappoint on the first day after winning his first two games before setting for a draw against Zambian International Master Gillian Bwalya, who played all his first three games on Board One.
He will be relegated to Board Three as the tournament enters the fourth round tomorrow morning after giving away a half point against Mpungu.
Winner of the Open Section is set to walk away with a whooping K0.5 million with the Ladies champion carting home K200,000.