Chess: Kumudzi to continue sponsoring Malawi’s national club championship

Kumudzi Eco Learning Centre has pledged to continue sponsoring Malawi’s national club championship still at MK1 million but subject to revision if things go well.

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Mkwambisi: Sponsor

This was pledged by Kumudzi Eco Learning Centre owner Professor David Mkwambisi after the national finals that took place on Saturday at the sponsor’s premises along Bunda Road near Bunda College of Agriculture, now renamed Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).

The were three teams, one each from the Northern, Central and Southern regions, who qualified after vigorous regional qualifiers.

The championship started in August with regional qualifiers that identified three finalists, Mchengautuwa from the North comprising Martin Mambulasa, Robert Ngwira, Emanuel Kaonga, Steve Gera, Francisco Wangupiri, Gift Kadaluka and Wisdom Gondwes while the Centre’s Sweeping Pawn has Alfred Chimthere, Aaron Phiri, Dan Maliro, Moses Mtumbuka, Patrick Gwede and Daisy Nkhoma.

The South was represented by Succhess fielding national team players such as Chiletso Chipanga, FM Gerald Mphungu, Mayamiko Zulu, Joseph Nyambalo, James Kamowa and Khwima Gondwe.

Succhess emerged champions after three rounds in which they collected six points while Sweeping Pawns were second with three points. Mchengautuwa failed to win a point.

Mkwambisi said he decided to sponsor the tournament after realising that the sport is denied support from the corporate world.

“The Chess Association [Chessam] is building capacity of young people to enjoy their game of chess, so we thought we should support the association,” Mkwambisi said.

“And also I saw the credibility of how chess people handle their affairs when I sponsored a district tournamenr in Mangochi and that made us to come up with this national tournament for more youths to enjoy their game.

“The way Chessam has handled the whole tournament was excellent, its administration, accountability and financial management was good and am happy as a sponsor.

“After this we intend to develop a village chess club here, we will identify some trainers who shall engage the sorrounding communities to learn the game and the association has promised to support the initiative,” Mkwambisi said.

The Kumudzi Club Chess Championship is seen as a positive response to revive a chess culture in all the regions and Chessam Vice-president Mark Chikoko applauded Kumudzi was its support.

“This is the first club championship that was properly sponsored and the MK1 million was quite a significant amount.

“We are proud that Kumudzi has decided to support us again next year and I know this will inspire the teams that did not qualify to work hard to also appreciate the camaraderie that we all enjoyed here,” Chikoko said.

Of interest during the finals was the participation of the only lady, Daisy Nkhoma of Sweeping Pawns and three junior players, 17-year-old Wisdom Gondwe of Mchengautuwa, 12-year-old Khwima Gondwe of Succhess while Sweeping Pawns had two, 12-year-old John Phiri and nine-year-old Chifundo Chinthere.

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