Malawi’s top ranked Chess player fails to make it into Zone 4.5 squad

Chess Association of Malawi (CHESSAM) has selected Team Malawi to represent the country in the online Zone 4.5 tournament to take place from October 9-18 but the country’s highest rated player, Joseph Mwale has failed to make it into the squad.

Malawi top chess player Mwale

The squad was chosen following an online qualifier played on Sunday, September 20, and Mwale admits that it was a tough qualifying tournament adding that the team is strong and will definitely do well in the Zone 4.5 tournament, which comprises countries from Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region.

However, Joseph’s brother, Candidate Master (CM) George has made it in the Open Section, together with CM Petros Mfune, CM Chiletso Chipanga as well as unranked Fischer Mwagomba.

The Ladies Section has Tapiwa Banda, Tamara Kaliwo, Woman Fide Master (WFM) Linda Chaononga and Madalitso Khanyera.

The Under-20 boys category Praise Kalambo, Brian Trapence and

Tupochele Mlanjira with Under-20 being Caroline Trapence, Charity Tadeyo ans Rachael Jairos as nominated.

“I wish them all the best,” said the SouthAfrica-based Joseph, who — together with his brother George are administering training sessions through their online Malawi Chess Academy that is held every Thursdays and Sundays from 17:00hrs.

“I have worked with most of the ladies and juniors that are in the squad and I am glad my advice and training from the academy has helped them qualify and get exposure.

“Players like Madalitso Khanyera and Tupochele Mlanjira were unknown until they joined the academy. Now that they have made it into the national team makes me very proud that I am grooming future chess masters,” he said.

The lessons on Malawi Chess Academy are conducted on Zoom and Google Meet platforms and there are tournaments for the students on Saturdays, whose top three winners get coaching for free in the next lesson.

Charges for the group coaching is at K3,000 per student per lesson and there is also be discounted rates for families with 2 or more students registered.

George Mwale is the assistant coach together with CM Petros Mfune and Tshediso Mpya.

Mwale, who is an African Online Champion, is in South Africa earning a living through playing and coaching chess and has trained many South Africans, who from scratch went on to attain titles that include that country’s top Under-18 champion, Candidate Master Keith Khumalo and FIDE Master Naseem Essa.

“I believe anyone can improve their level given the right training,” he had earlier said. “My passion is to shape my compatriots after seeing the potential they possess.”

Soon after South Africa went on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chess genius introduced an online tournament in which he also involved Malawian youths until he decided to go full throttle by establishing the online Malawi Chess Academy

Mwale became a chess star in Malawi at a tender age of 8.

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