Chess genius Joseph Mwale has leapt to the echelons of Candidate Master title after walloping his opponents at the Bazooka Chess Tournament organised by the Central Region Chess League (CRCL) over the weekend at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe.
Code-named GM Fear by his admirers, Mwale finished the tournament unbeaten by clinching six (6) out of seven (7) games played, in a pool of 26 chess players including two ladies. He only fired blanks in a dead rubber, last round game, pinching his quest for victory home.
Consequent to his triumph, Mwale who is currently at 2191 Fide elo rating, is cusped to be catapulted to 2200 Fide elo rating, which propels him to a Candidate Master title by default.
In some of his games during the tourney, Mwale made lightweight of his opponents by scoring early wins. He dispatched his rivals with stunning ease, that left spectators shell shocked realising the new levels that his game has hit through chess exposure in South Africa where he is resident.
For his feat, he was awarded a trophy, gold medal and a MK50.000 cash prize. Candidate Masters Petros Mfune and Alfred Chimthere completed the podium bracket by scooping 5.5 and 5 points, to finish as second and third, respectively. They received MK25.000 and MK15.000 apiece, replete with silver and gold medals each.
When quizzed on his exploits after being crowned champion, the Durban based star Mwale was rather philosophical in his speech. He said that there is a marked improvement in general chess play in the country and local chess players have the potential to attain international playing standards.
On the other hand, the sponsor of the tournament Hope Mwazozo who is also in South Africa, wired a communique via WhatsApp expressing his desire to motivate chess players through mouthwatering monetary incentive. Having pumped in MK150.000 for this tournament, he alluded that a huge sponsorship chess deal is on the horizon, since he is mobilising support from corporate partners.
Taking his turn, the CRCL General Secretary Eddie Kulesi who was the Tournament Director, applauded Mwazozo for the Bazooka tournament sponsorship which attracted all the top rated players in the country. He dubbed it as a “timely curtain raiser for the Batumi Olympiad qualifiers” scheduled for December 29-January 2, also in Lilongwe.
In winding up, Kulesi hinted that the League is geared at promoting the Ladies and Students tournament participation in the CRCL. In that vein, the best lady player Vitumbiko Gondwe pocketed MK5.000 cash prize. She finished on position 20 with 3 points.
The Chief Arbiter for the tournament was International Arbiter (IA) Gilton Mkumbwa who was assisted by Fide Arbiter Leonard M’bwana.