The grand national qualifiers that took place last weekend saw six players qualify for the 2018 World Chess Olympiad which the Eastern European city of Batumi in Georgia will host in September.
The national qualifiers, that had 34 participants, took place in Lilongwe from December 29 to January 2 that was meant to identify six players — three male and three women.
Candidate Master Chiletso Chipanga was the champion after he amassed 7.5 points out of 9 with South Africa-based Joseph Mwale finishing second with 7 points while his elder brother George finished third with 6.5 points.
Combative Richard Chiona was 4th with 6 points and he was put on bye.
In the ladies category, Daisy Nkhoma came first with eight points followed by Tupokiwe Msukwa with 6.5 points while Magret Ngugama was third with 6.5 points.
Ellen Mpinganjira is on bye as she was 4th with 6 points.
The last Olympiad in 2016 took place in Baku ,Azerbaijan and Malawi was ably represented there as well through FIDE Master Gerald Mphungu and Candidate Masters Petros Mfune, Chiletso Chipanga, Alfred Chimthere and Paul Khuphwathea in Open Section while the ladies were Linda Jambo, Ellen Mpinganjira, Vitumbiko Gondwe, Daisy Nkhoma and Tupokiwe Msukwa.
Mphungu has twice represented Malawi at the Olympiad Chipanga five times, Joseph Mwale once while this will be
George Mwale’s first experience.
For the lad ladies, Linda Jambo has participated four times, Daisy Nkhoma twice and once each for Tupokiwe Msukwa and Magret Ngugama.
During a world chess governing body FIDE Congress held in Zimbabwe last August, Chessam president Kezzie Msukwa had a meeting with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who pkedged that he shallsponsor an international Grand Master of repute to come and train Malawi’s Olympiad team sometime early this year for one month.
However, Chessam publicity secretary Makhosi Nyirenda said the grandmaster training programme has not been confirmed yet but as Chessam they shall hold a series of training camps ahead of the Olympiad in September.
The players for the national qualifiers were identified through excellent performance in tournaments who in turn made it into regional qualifiers.