Poly student Mphungu is 2013 Malawi Presidential Chess champion

Polytechnic third year student Gerald Mphungu is this year’s champion for the K1 million Presidential Chess Championship following his triumph during the national finals held at Baptist Theological Seminary in Lilongwe over the weekend.

Mphungu came top with four points out of the maximum five amongst the 12 finalists, who took part in the two-day tournament.

He got a trophy and a cash prize of K50,000, which were presented by Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president Kezzei Msukwa, who is also Member of Parliament (MP) for Chitipa East.

“I am so happy to win this tournament. It was a tough tournament and every player that participated came prepared. I would like to keep this title for a couple of years and anybody, who would want to take away this title from me next year must prepare thoroughly because I will not let it go easily,” said Mphungu after receiving his prize.

Mphungu receives his K50,000 cheque from Chessam president, Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times
Mphungu receives his K50,000 cheque from Chessam president, Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

On second position was Zomba based Chiletso Chipanga, who had just returned from South Africa, where he took part in this year’s Commonwealth Chess Championship in Durban.

Chipanga, who tied with third-placed Fiskan Mwagomba on 3.5 points before the two were separated by the Sonnen-burg tie-breaking system received K30,000 with the Mzuzu Mwagomba going home K20,000 richer.

Fourth-placed Joseph Nyambalo from Chancellor College pocketed K15,000 with Ronald Chimkute from Mzuzu going away with K10,000.

Both Chimkute and Nyambalo had three points but were also separated by a tie-breaking system.

Stanford Chiwambo, Leonard Sharra, Alfred Chinthere, Hubert Nanthambwe, Ken Foster and Moses Mphande occupied the positions seven to eleven in that order while Blantyre based Charles Nathaniel came last. They all got consolation prizes of K6,000 each.

The ladies’ category was won by upcoming teenager Wezzie Mzia, who has just say for Malawi Schools Certificate of Examinations at Kaliyeka Secondary School in Lilongwe. She had four points out of five just like second-placed Ellen Mpinganjira and third-placed Margret Mgugama.

The three were still tied after the first tie-breaking system and were only separated by the Sonnen-burg system.

Mzia received a trophy and K30,000 with Mpinganjira, who was also in South Africa for the Commonwealth Chess Cham[pionship pocketing K15,000. Mgugama got K7,500.

Mzia said she did not except to win the tournament at the expense of experienced players like Mpinganjira, having been idle since May as she prepared for her exams.

Msukwa congratulated the winning players and all who made it to the national finals. He saluted government through Sports Council for providing funds for the tournament through the Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS) programme.

Msukwa advised the players to start preparations for World Chess Olympiad local qualifiers, which he said would be ‘long and tough.’

The next World Chess Olympiad will be held in Norway in August next year.

Mziya receives her cash prize from Msukwa, Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times
Mziya receives her cash prize from Msukwa, Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

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