Mwale wins inaugural SRCL online chess tourney

After being outsmarted by Candidate Master (CM) Petros ‘Razorblade’ Mfune in the second edition of CHESSAM’s online MyBucks Blitz Challenge that was played on May 31, Malawi’s highest rated player, Joseph Mwale rose above the occasion by clinching the inaugural Southern Region League (SRCL) online tournament.

Chess champ Joseph Mwale

The South Africa-based Fide Master chess professional with a Blitz rating of 2203, scored 13 points in the 15-round tournament on Sunday beating a field of 64 players.

His runner-up was Francisco Mwangopiri on 11.5 points while CM Paul Khuphwathea, who was second in the MyBucks Blitz Challenge, was third — also on 11.5 points but the two were separated by a tiebreaker.

Mfune was 4th with 11 points; Precious Kamwendo 5th (10.5 points); Ernest Matola 6th (10.5); Joseph Mwale’s brother George 7th (10) while Amos Chigowo, who was third in the May MyBucks Blitz Challenge, was a distant 8th with 10 points.

Khama Chindole came 9th with 9.5 points ahead of former national champion and African Amateurs Champion, Chiletso Chipanga, who came 10th with 9 points.

The ladies category was won by Tapiwa Banda on 7.5 points while Lackshit Dutt came second with 6.5 points.

The tournament, which as open for participation for Centre and Northern leagues, was sponsored by two chess enthusiasts individuals, Godwin Ulaya and Wasoka Chirwa.

SRCL chairperson Steve Mpighu said there will two other online chess tournaments on June 21 and on July 5.

The chess tournaments on lichess.com, an open-source internet chess server run by Lichess.

Online chess tournament is the latest trend following the COVID-19 preventive measures on mass gatherings which even world chess governing body, FIDE is supporting.

CHESSAM has joined the online international chess tournaments initiative which has been launched by FIDE that from June 1 until June 15, chess federations can hold online tournaments to win several attractive prizes.

The major prize will consist of 64 one-week invitations for all participating federations to the 2021 Chess Olympiad in Moscow with flight and lodging expenses fully covered.

Other prizes include souvenirs, tickets to chess workshops and mini-matches with grandmasters.

Named ‘Checkmate Coronavirus’ there will be three tournaments a week — on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 19:00hrs — targeted at all chess players regardless of age or level of play.

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