Junior chess player Blessings Kamanga, who won the 2018 Malawi Sport Awards’ Best Junior Male Sportsperson, has performed exceptionally well during his International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) by scooping four A+, two As, two Bs and C.
Congratulations poured in for the Kalibu Academy student that included one from Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president Susan Namangale, who said chess does groom excellent students.
“I am very proud of Blessings’ achievement. He’s such an upcoming chess star and these results speak a lot about his potential in chess and academia.
“We hope to produce a Grandmaster in Blessings one day and I hope this will be when I am still the Chessam president,” Namangale said.
Blessings plays for Mentors Chess Club, founded by Namangale and comprising veterans Mayeso Mphande, Ulemu Chiluzi, Mpilo Mizere, Sungani Chalemba, Ackim Mwale, Mark Chikoko and Candidate Master Joseph Chalemba.
“The veterans and the club plan to mentor Blessings’ chess skills to greater heights,” said Namangale, whose sport won six awards at the Malawi Sport Award.
Blessings was further nominated for the regional award ceremony Regional Annual Sports Awards (RASA) in Windoek, Namibia alongside first female to win the 2018 Commonwealth lightweight Anish Bashir, Malawi U-20 netball coach Christina Mkwanda Munji, athlete Moneyi Chingaipe Malawi Under-20 netball.
Chessam publicity secretary Alfred Chinthere said Blessings is now a role model to many youngsters out there on how to hit a balance between school performance and sporting excellence.
“I am really happy for him to have excelled on his academics. In chess we say the game is an education tool that helps students to succeed,” he said.
Interestingly, he is at the Academy, whose chess club patron is Chessam’s passionate national schools chess coordinator Margaret Ngugama.
Kalibu Academy always dominates most junior tournaments in all their categories, both for boys and girls.
Since Chessam revitalized its schools’ chess development programme, most Malawian parents applauded the initiative, saying their kids are achieving good grades in schools.
Reports say since its inception in 2013, the kids that have partaken in this programme have achieved relatively good grades in their schools and most of them top their classes and get selected to good secondary schools.
In an earlier interview with Nyasa Times, Mrs Gondwe of Manja township had said chess injected her son Khwima with enormous amount of confidence and comes with good grades from Chichiri Secondary School where he is in Form 4.
“After beating elder people at chess, my son so much believes in himself and this is making him excel in class,” she had said.
More parents have attested that their kids are unbelievably focused, well organised, improved their aptitude for learning and are analytical in the way they solve their problems.
One of the country’s top players Makhosi Nyirenda, who is also a kids instructors, agrees that chess helps kids in a number of ways including boosting up memory, increased concentration and focus, ability to solve problems, analytical abilities and induces good ambitions, among other benefits.
He had said almost every pupil that consistently go through the programme gets selected to good schools and are well disciplined.
Meanwhile, Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) is geared to hold a rated tournament from August 31 to September 1 at College of Medicine in Blantyre to that also invites junior players, whose champions will receive K5,000 for both boy and girl.
It will be sponsored by Parts N Bytes & Mpilo to be played in seven rounds of 1 hour time control.
The men’s prizes are K50,000 for champion, K25,000 for runner-up, K15,000 for third place and K10,000 for fourth place while for the ladies section K30,000 is for the champion, K15,000 for runner-up and K10,000 for third place.
Registration fee, to be paid through 0888 529 653 on Mpamba or 0999 293 228 on Airtel Money, is K2,000 for the Open and ladies sections and K1,000 for juniors.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :