Veteran chess player cum journalist Leonard Sharra was in a class of his own at the weekend when he outwitted about 30 chess players from
central region to win the K100,000 Mayeso Mphande Chess tournament played Saturday and Sunday at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe.
Sharra, who is also general secretary for Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) won the tournament after winning six out of seven games to
accumulate six points.
He received K50,000 from sponsor Mayeso Mphande: “I had not played chess for three months and I just banked on my vast experience to win
the tournament. My initial plan was to go and win the Veterans tournament in Blantyre but after the clash of events, I decided to participate in the more competitive and lucrative Mayeso Mphande tournament.
“The winner of the veterans tournament (Tutule Msukwa) should thank his gods that there was this clash otherwise I was planning to offer
these lessons in Blantyre,” said Sharra after winning the tournament.
He applauded sponsor Mayeso Mphande for his kind gesture and urged other chess followers to emulate the good example set by the Lilongwe
based ardent chess follower.
As champion, Sharra received K50,000 cash from the sponsor with second-placed Petros Mfune, who also had six points receiving K30,000.
The two were separated by the Buchholz tie breaking system after the tie.
On third position was Goodwell Manda from Area 25, who had 5.5 points. He received K20,000 cash.
Mphande said the aim behind the sponsorship was to woe the private sector into sponsoring the mind game: “If chess players start
supporting the game, it will be very easy for the private sector to come in. My aim is to see Malawi producing good players capable of
representing the nation in international competitions.
“I am intending to make this a bi-annual event and make the prizes more attractive. Already some of my colleagues have shown interest to
come on board and co-sponsor such events,” disclosed Mphande.