Malawi chess pleads for sponsorship to send kids to international tourney in Zambia

After failing to send potential youths to an international junior tournament last August in Port Elizabeth, South Africa due to financial constraints, Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam), which is courting the corporate world for support, is also appealing to interested parents to fund their children to the African Schools Individual Championships to take place from 10-18 December 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia.

Chinese Grandmaster Zhu Chen playing simultaneous games with Malawians
Chinese Grandmaster Zhu Chen playing simultaneous games with Malawians

The 2016 African Schools Individual Chess Championships, to be held at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lusaka, is attracting kids Under-7 to Under-17 years of age.

National Schools Chess Coordinator, Magret Ngugama, posted on chess fraternity’s whatsapp group, saying Chessam failed to send kids to Port Elizabeth in August due to financial constraints but the financial position has not improved.

“But another opportunity has arisen for the youth – African Schools Individual Championships to take place from 10-18 December 2016 at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia. Any parent who is interested in sending his/her child should get in touch with me as soon as possible,” she appealed.

She said all officially invited player places are required to pay transport costs, a registration fee of 100 euro and a Fide (world chess governing body) fee of 70 Euro and that additional players are required to pay transport, accommodation + food, a Fide fee of 140 Euro and 100 Euro registration fee.

In Malawi kwacha, each player’s cost to travel by road to Lusaka and meet all the other requirements, is K220,000,

In accordance with Fide regulations, the African Schools Individual Chess Championships are open to all players from African federations which are affiliated to Fide.

Each African federation is entitled to register one official player in each category, Under 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17 and that each federation will be allowed to enter up to four additional players in each category.

These additional players will be responsible for payment of their board and lodging in addition to the prescribed registration fees and Fide fees.

Subject to agreement with the organisers, the Continental President may allow further additional players; subject to payment of their board and lodging as well as other prescribed fees such as registration fees and Fide fees.

Ngugama, who is Chessam coordinator, trainer and also a qualified national arbiter, said the team that was selected for the African Youth Chess Championships will be given first priority as official place players.

Chess is quickly taking root in the country and currently kids are being trained for the game every weekend in Blantyre through support from Jungle Pepper Restaurant at Chichiri Shopping Centre.

The Jungle Pepper training programme has trained over 100 players and five out of the 12 that participated at the 2015 African Youth Championships in Lusaka, were from the Jungle Pepper initiative.

Last September, from 1st-14th, Malawi was ably represented at the 42nd Chess Olympiad that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan. There Malawi moved three steps up the ladder and two candidate masters in the names of Petros Mfune and Paul Khuphwathea were born from this tournament.

Malawi was represented by 10 players — five ladies (Linda Jambo, Ellen Mpinganjira, Vitumbiko Gondwe, Desidarata Nkhoma and Tupokiwe Msukwa) and five men (Gerald Mphungu, Alfred Chimthere, Chiletso Chipanga, Petros Mfune and Paul Khuphwathea.

Ngugama said both teams did well at the Olympiad bearing in mind that it is the highest level of chess play and bearing in mind that Mfune and Khuphwathea attained candidate master status.

Other candidate masters in the squad were Chimthere and Chipanga.

To add some inspiration for the game, Chessam falicilitated a visit to Malawi of Grandmaster Zhu Chen in November 2015, which was part of her tour of Africa trip funded by Commission of Women Chess.

Her prime objective was to inspire girls and the youths whilst in Malawi, Chessam took her to the Chessam trqining schools in Blantyre where she staged simultaneous games with young players.

Some time back, another foreign Grandmaster Nigel Short visited the country as well as Fide’s chief executive, Geoffrey Bogg, who toured Malawi in 2014.

Chessam is headed by Kezzie Msukwa as president.

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5 years ago

The problem of Malawi and Malawians is that they expect others to give them money when actually it’s them who should give. I have boys who were playing in varies sports here in Europe it’s us the parents who were organising all the funds by doing all kinds of things. Baking selling whatever we could sell. If Malawians start doing this then others will help them. What I saw in Malawi parents don’t even take their children to games. We can’t depend on others to give us all the time. This mentality of thinking has to stop. It’s our children… Read more »

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