Malawi’s three region’s chess leagues will this weekend start qualifiers for next year’s world Chess Olympiad which the Eastern European city of Batumi in Georgia will host in September.
The Central and Nothern regional leagues will start their qualifiers this weekend (25th and 26th Nov) while the South will hold theirs on December 2-3.
The North’s qualifiers shall be held at Crest Illala Lodge from 8am and the registration fee is MK2,500 while the Centre will be at Kamuzu Institute for Sports at a fee of MK2,000.
The South will hold theirs in the cafeteria of Malawi National Council of Sports at MK2,000.
According Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) publicity secretary Makhosi Nyirenda, six male and four female players per region will qualify but some players have been seeded by Chessam to participate in the national qualifiers slated for December 29 to January 2.
“But, in a move to motivate players to vie for high chess titles, highest titled players such as Fide Master Gerald Mphungu and woman Fide Master Linda Jambo have been seeded to the the Olympiad itself, in Batumi,” Makhosi said.
The seeded players are Petros Mfune, Paul Khuphwathea, Chiletso Chipanga,Alfred Chimthere (who have represented Malawi before at the previous Olympiad) as well asJoseph Nyambalo, Fishern Mwagomba, Stanford Chiwambo, George Mwale, Wilson Chingati, Richard Chiona — who were top six in the Mdina Open.
Also seeded from regional qualifiers are active Malawian players based in diaspora are Joseph Mwale, Richard Mbedza, Hope Mwazozo, Stanley Mpinganjira and Francis Banda.
Ladies team that has been seeded are Ellen Mpinganjira, Daisy Nkhoma, Vitu Gondwe, Tupo Msukwa, Ulemu Mbewe, Upile Polepole and Tamicco Kaunda.
“This is a big event and the players are advised to bring their own chess sets to enable a smooth run of the games,” Makhosi said.
The last Olympiad in 2016 took place in Baku, Azerbaijan and Malawi was ably represented there as well.
During a world chess governing body FIDE Congress held in Zimbabwe last August, Chessam president Kezzie Msukwa had a meeting with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who pkedged that he shallsponsor an international Grand Master of repute to come and train Malawi’s Olympiad team sometime early next year for one month.
Ilyumzhinov also donated to Chessam 250 chess sets and 50 clocks and another lot of chess equipment shall arrive by early next year for chess in schools.
Msukwa also disclosed that Ilyumzhinov advised that Chessam should look for an office and that he will pay rentals.