Outgoing Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president says he bows out a satisfied and proud man after been at the helm for 14 years in which he facilitated that the sport be registered with world chess governing body FIDE.
“As a well organised Chessam team, we introduced Malawi to international chess culminating in participation to every Chess Olympiad since 2006,” he said. “This is very unique considering the little resources we had but we had the full support from Malawi National Council of Sports and other stakeholders.
“I can say I stand out as president when I facilitated that three chess players be sent to Russia to pursue their studies. We also had a good impact in schools chess. We have seen more and more players from schools playing chess.”
Msukwa urged the incoming committee to try and improve on reaching out to rural schools and in all districts and to create an office secretariat.
“The sport does not have reliable sponsorship and the creation of an office secretariat can help win confidence of sponsors. All available sponsorships are once off and attached to a particular activity.
“Chessam could identify long term partnerships could win well signed contracts for sustainability. Survival has been tough really. You will note that we have sometimes done meetings using personal resources and you will also note we could not come up with a chess calendar because of lack of committed sponsorships.”
He paid tribute to Mdina Engineering for sponsoring the Mdina Malawi Open for nine years now that first started as a local tournament but turned international.
“Mdina Malawi Open has always been a success and I doff my hat to Tiwone Mdina for his passion for the sport. Mdina Chess has produced stars such as the 2018 African Amateurs champion Chiletso Chipanga.”
Likely to succeed Msukwa is Chessam executive committee member, Susan Musa Namangale, who is geared to become the first woman to compete for the post of president at the association’s elections set for the month end of August.
Namangale too agrees that they need Chessam should be managed as an institution with proper facilities including an office secretariat and an administrator to manage office operations.
She concurs with Msukwa, saying resources are not adequate to manage proper chess activities at national level and to improve on that, she says once voted into power, she shall enhance that the sport gets more funding for chess activities through membership affiliation fees and to acquire more resources to manage chess activities at national level.
“Chess doesn’t have enough sponsorship to implement all planned activities. However, we are grateful to government through the Malawi National Sports Council for including chess in sports funding including the Presidential Initiative for Sports, ” she said.
“Also we have been blessed for the past nine years with sponsorship by Mdina Engineering which has helped a lot to uplift the game of chess in Malawi. Also other institutions like MRA and a number of individuals who are coming up to support the game.”
Namangale has been in chess administration for over 15 years as an executive member and as ex-officio member when she was chairperson of Southern Region Chess League. She has been part of the chess family since 1990 at Providence Secondary School.
In her tenure of office, she says it’s success was supporting players to attend international tournaments resulting in high number of rated players and improvement of players’ performance that has seen Chiletso Chipanga winning the African Amateurs gold medal in Zambia and coming 6th at the World Amateurs in Italy.
On women participation, Namangale said there are more of them playing chess now than in her time and promises to encourage more to play the game by ensuring women section in all tournaments and also incentives targeting women like reduced registration fees.
“I will also ensure 30 percent women representation in chess activities at zonal, league and national level and for junior development, she pledges more schools tournaments and special funding for chess equipment in schools.”
At the prize giving ceremony of the Mdina Engineering Malawi Open held two weeks ago at College of Medicine in Blantyre, Msukwa urged the chess fraternity to choose wisely in replacing him so that at the end of the day chess wins.
“I go out a very proud man that we all worked towards making chess win,” said Msukwa, who is the Zone 4.3 president (more like SADC chess president) and he is in the Electoral Commision of world chess governing body, FIDE.
Namangale is expected to be up against Gershom Chima (the current general secretary) and executive member Mayeso Mphande.
Vying for vice-presidency, currently held by Mark Chikoko, are Moses Mtumbuka and Stanley Mtuwa and for general secretary are Stanley Kafere, Isaac Mumba and Southern Region Chess League chairman Wasoka Chirwa.
Makhosi Nyirenda wants to retain his post of publicity secretary and he goes unopposed while Khama Chindole will contest for post of treasurer.
National coordinator for chess in schools Magret Ngugama is being challenged by Leonard M’bwana.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :