Malawi chess team leave for World Olympiad Saturday

Malawi national chess team depart for the 43rd World Chess Olympiad on Saturday, September 22 scheduled for the Eastern European city of Batumi in Georgia from September 23 to October 6  in a buoyant mood after undergoing a specialised training camp in Blantyre.

Chipanga in action during the World Amateurs in Italy this year.-Photo by Julian Preda

The squad was mentored by Russian Grandmaster Vasily Papin who drilled the squad for two weeks in August.

The men’s team includes: Fide Master Gerald Mphungu, Candidate Master Joseph Mwale, Candidate Master Chiletso Chipanga, George Mwale, Richard Chiona with Candidate Master Joseph Chalemba as captain while ladies are Woman Fide Master Linda Chaononga, Desiderata Nkhoma, Ellen Mpinganjira, Annie Simwaba and Magret Ngugama as captain.

Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) publicity secretary Alfred Chinthere said Tupokiwe Msukwa has withdrawn from the squad after Chancellor College refused her permission to travel.

He said team officials are Chessam president Susan Namangale and former president Kezzie Msukwa, who is African Zonal president.

“Candidate Master Joseph Mwale is flying out from his base in South Africa and he will connect with the rest of the squad in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital city. Annie Simwaba, George Mwale and Richard Chiona will be participating in their maiden chess Olympiad.

“CM Chiletso Chipanga is the Malawian record holder of having been to six consecutive chess Olympiads since 2008. The World Chess Olympiad is the most prestigious chess event on the FIDE (World Chess Federation) calendar and takes place every two years. The last one was held in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2016,” Chinthere said.

During the training camp, the Russian Grandmaster Vasily Papin played an exhibition simultaneous matches against 23 players in which he  beat 21 and drew with three; CM Chipanga, George Mwale and Daisy Nkhoma.

CM Chipanga, who is the 2018 African Amateurs Champion, is the inspirational for the squad ahead of the Olympiad.

The last Olympiad in 2016 that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan and Malawi was ably represented there as well through FM Mphungu, CM Petros Mfune, CM Chipanga, Alfred Chimthere and Paul Khuphwathea in Open Section while the ladies were Linda Jambo,  Ellen Mpinganjira, Vitumbiko Gondwe, Daisy Nkhoma and Tupokiwe Msukwa.

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