Lilongwe’s Area 25 qualify for Africa chess tourney after winning Malawi’s club championship

Lilongwe’s Area 25 Castles Chess Club outsmart three other teams on Sunday at Crossroads Hotel in the Capital City when they won the Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) National Championship and earned themselves a place in the African Club Championship to be held in Capetown, South Africa from August 7-12.

Mentors Chess Club members

They overcome tough opposition from Flying Horses from the North, Sapitwa from the South and fellow Lilongwe side, Mentors — a surprise package of the Chessam championship, fielded veterans who plied their chess trade nearly two decades ago.

Castles clobbered Flying Horses of Mzuzu by 3.5 points from maximum 5 before seeing for Mentors 4-1 and completed the rout by whitewashing Sapitwa 5-0.

Flying Horses grabbed the silver medal after winning two games while Mentors got the bronze medal. Sapitwa came 4th.

Candidate Master Alfred Chimthere scooped Player of the Tournament award after winning all his three games, including a sensational win against Fide Master Gerald Mphungu.

Area 25 Castles comprises three Candidate Masters — George Mwale, Petros Mfune and Chimthere and the other team members Khama Chindole (captain), Hope Mwazozo, Stanford Chibambo, Loyce Msiska (Lady) and Praise Kalambo (Junior).

Mentors comprised Chessam president Susan Namangale, Blessings Kamanga (Under 20), Mayeso Mphande, Ulemu Chiluzi, Mpilo Mizere, Sungani Chalemba, Ackim Mwale, Mark Chikoko and Candidate Master Joseph Chalemba.

SRCL’s Sapitwa had Praise Salima (under 20), John Mkumba, Patrick Kamwendo, Mailosi Msikiimodzi, Overton Kanyinji, and Stanley Biyasi.

NRCL’s Flying Horses comprised Tina Kumwenda (lady), Davis Paul Ngwira (Under-20), Raymond Chitedze, Wilson Chingati Banda, Wilson Banda, Fiskani Mwagomba, Malama Mwanza, Fide Master Gerald Mphungu and Member of Parliament Kezzie Msukwa, who is the African Chess Union (ACU) general secretary and former Chessam president,

Each team fielded five players plus two substitutes and also had to file at once by compulsory either a lady player or an Under-20 on board 5. The playing format was All-Play-All of 5 rounds of games per team.

CRCL contributed the two teams, Area 25 Castles and Mentors, because they had more registered teams than the other regions. CRCL registered 7 teams, SRCL had 3, while NRCL had 2 teams.

The winning team pocketed K250,000 and the opportunity to represent Malawi at the African Club Championship while the runners-up got K200,000.

The third placed team went away with K175,000 whereas the fourth team went home with a consolation of K150,000.

In another development, Chessam in conjunction with Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) is poised to send a chess team to All Africa Games in Morocco.

The team will comprise Fide Masters Joseph Mwale and Gerald Mphungu — the first ever to represent the country at the All Africa Games.

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