The 2nd African Draughts Championship, that has drawn some of the best players on the continent, is currently underway at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre.
Draught is a local roadside game that is played by most men during their pastime and locally known as ‘draft’.
The 2nd African Draughts Championship started on Monday and ends on Friday. So far, Malawi has dominated the first two phases of the tournament, the blitz and rapid, where the team emerged first on both
The team has drawn a total of 34 players, with 14 players travelling from Ghana, South Africa, DRC, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In attendance for the tournament are International Draught Federation (IDF) president Vladimir Langin and international draught referee Alaxander Nikiforov.
Association of Draughts in Malawi (ADMA) secretary general Suzgo Alpha Nkhoma told NyasaTimes on Wednesday that the winner of the tournament will be awarded a gold medal, K1.5 million which covers an air ticket to the world championship next year, food and accommodation.
Second placed will be awarded the International Master title, automatic qualification to the world championship, cash prize and a trophy.
According to Nkhoma, the event has been sponsored by the Malawi government through Sports Council and the International Draughts Federation.
Team Malawi is featuring the cream of the sport in the country who include three masters IM Moses Winesi, FM Enock Banda and FM Madalitso Thom.
“As an association, we are glad because government is doing everything possible to make this championship a memorable one and we are hopeful we will defend our reputation as best in Africa although it won’t be easy,” said Nkhoma.
According to online information, draughts (British English) or checkers (American English) is a group of strategy board games for two players which involve diagonal moves of uniform game pieces and mandatory captures by jumping over opponent pieces.
Draughts is played by two opponents, on opposite sides of the gameboard. One player has the dark pieces; the other has the light pieces. Players alternate turns. A player may not move an opponent’s
piece. A move consists of moving a piece diagonally to an adjacent unoccupied square.
If the adjacent square contains an opponent’s piece, and the square immediately beyond it is vacant, the piece may be captured (and removed from the game) by jumping over it.
Only the dark squares of the checkered board are used. A piece may move only diagonally into an unoccupied square. Capturing is mandatory in most official rules, although some rule variations make capturing optional when presented. In almost all variants, the player without pieces remaining, or who cannot move due to being blocked, loses the game.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :