Chess Associarion of Malawi (Chessam) says it is proud of the performance of the four youths that represented the country at the African Schools Individual Chess Championships in Harare, Zimbabwe last weekend in which 11-year-old Yebo Sanga of St. Columba Primary School in Blantyre won five of the nine rounds — breaking hisrecord from precious participation in Zambia last year.
Eight-year-old Daniel Kondowe of Chibavi Primary in Mzuzu scored four rounds, 9-year-old Kezzie Msukwa Jnr from Wongani Primary School in Mzuzu scored three rounds while Tinna Kumwenda (17) of Masasa Community Day Secondary School, also of Mzuzu scored two.
“From their performance, it’s a clear indication of improvement in youth chess,” said National Schools Chess Coordinator Margaret Ngungama.
Each of the four players were sponsored by their parents and Yebo’s father acyed as delegation leader.
Shs said: “Chessam would like to sincerely thank all parents who sacrificed their resources to enable the team to participate in such a prestigious continental event and special thanks goes to Mr Sanga who accompanied the tea. We do not take such passion and love for granted.”
Ngungama said the next African Youth chess championships will be hosted by Egypt Giza from December 1-10, 2017 and she encouraged parents who would like to send their children to register.
“Be assured that chess in schools is here to stay and we shall continue doing chess development programmes in all areas,” she said.
“Currently, through various sponsors, we have schools chess development programs which include MT Lodge paying school fees sponsorship for best players in Mangochi, chess training classes at Lilongwe Golf Club and Jungle Pepper in Blantyre.
“We have training sessions in various schools in Mzuzu and I would like to encourage all active chess instructors to continue doing the great work that they are doing to raise the standard of chess in all regions.
“In addition, Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) is working hand in hand with Malawi Schools Sports Association (MASSA) in Blantyre Urban to promote chess in a project called Chess in Blantyre Urban Schools. An action plan on how the project is going to run has been submitted to MASSA and more chess action is expected in the coming academic year 2017-18.”
Each of the parents contributed Fide registration fee of 100 euros (MK87,000), tournament registration fee of euro 70 (MK61,000) and transport cost from Mzuzu to Harare return MK60,000 and Blantyre to Harare MK32,000.