For chess to develop further in the bid to produce a Malawian Grandmaster, there is need to increase schools participation by training many students and providing them with regular tournaments as a platform for exposure and experience.
This is what newly-elected Chess Association of Malawi, Moses Mtumbuka believes in as his show of solidarity for his president Susan Namangale, who also has the same vision to fulfil as pledged in her manifesto before the election that took place on August 26 in Lilongwe.
“My vision is to take chess to greater heights which is in line with the vision by Susan Namangale,” said Mtumbuka, who usually award best junior player with cash at every seniors tournament.
“With this vision, chess will be taken to greater heights because our ambition is to produce a grandmaster. That can be possible only if we groom more good players to challenge the current top players who in turn will make sure to continue to be the best and thereby make them much better when they participate at international level.
“We are almost there as evidenced by what Chiletso Chipanga has achieved by becoming the African Amateurs champion as well as ending 6th at the World Amateurs in Italy. That’s a good start towards attaining the grandmaster title.
“The squad that is going to the World Olympiad in Batumi in Georgia [Chiletso, Joseph Mwale, Gerald Mphungu, George Mwale, Richard Chiona, Linda Jambo, Daisy Nkhoma, Tupokiwe Msukwa, Ellen Mpinganjira and Anne Simwawa] has all the potential to become grandmasters only if they continue to be given a good run for their money by the rest of the players we have.
“Personally, I feel like the vision of the new administration will greatly improve chess in Malawi. It will thrive to improve a number of things which among others include; sponsorship, fundraising, increasing the number of arbiters, acquiring more chess equipment, affiliation of members, having quite a good number of of rated players, having offices for Chessam and the leagues and having more players participation at international events,” said Mtumbuka, who was Central Region Chess League (CRCL) since September 2016.
During his tenure of office in CRCL, Mtumbuka successfully drafted its 2016 to 2019 strategic plan; successfully came up with calendar of events for the league in which different tournaments were scheduled and managed to increase the number of rated players within the region.
“About 50 players became inactive on [world chess governing body] FIDE’s list but now with regular tournaments, they have reclaimed that and many more player have got the rating.
“We managed to increase number of young boys and girls participation at chess tournaments. This was done through organizing tournaments specifically for young boys and girls. Many thanks to Sempha Investments for their sponsorship support.
“We successfully formed 13 chess teams within the league; Hammers, Sweeping Pawns, Area 36, Likuni, Area 25 Castles, Alenje, KCN, Lumbadzi, Ntchisi,City Pawns, Dedza, Bunda and Area 18.
“We formed chess teams in colleges; Daeyang, Kamuzu College of Nursing, Bunda, Natural Resources College, College of Medicine Lilongwe Campus, Malawi Assemblies of God, Exploit University and Malawi College of Health Sciences as well as in secondary schools within Lilongwe such as Chipasula, Barracks, St. Johns, MacMillan, Mbidzi and Likuni Boys.”
He further said the league managed to organize bonanza tournaments and convinced different companies and individuals to sponsor chess such as Sempha Investments and partnered with Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) in the promotion of Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) termed as ‘LISITI LANGA PROMOTION’ by organizing a chess tournament in Lilongwe on the 8th and 9th June 2018 at K2 million.
“With Susan Namangale, we have been moving together throughout the campaign period. Susan has great passion for chess and is a very good administrator. I saw this sometime back hence partnering with her during the campaign period. We almost share the same vision of taking chess to greater heights.
“And for youths, I encourage them to learn and take part in playing this mind game apart from being involved in physical games such as football, netball, tennis and others. They have to be aware that research has proved the following key benefits of playing chess among others; raises Intelligent Quotient (IQ), increases creativity, improves memory, increases problem solving skills, improves reading skills, improves concentration and that it helps to teach planning and foresight,” Mtumbuka said.
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