Team Malawi lose first matches at World Chess Olympiad

With Game 10 more rounds of games left to play, both the men’s and ladies teams lost 0-4 respectively in their opening matches that started today, September 24 of the 43rd World Chess Olympiad in the Eastern European city of Batumi in Georgia.

Part of the Malawi team members on arrival in Tbilisi, the Georgia capital on Sunday

All the four men’s Open Section were beaten by an all-grandmaster Brazilian opponents: GM Alexander Fier against Fide Master (FM) Gerrard Mphungu, GM Luis Paulo Supi against George Mwale, GM Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian against Candidate Master (CM) Chiletso Chipanga and GM Felipe de Cresce el Debs against Richard Chiona.

The women’s opponents from Luxembourg were one Grandmaster (WIM) Elvira Berend, two International Master (WIM) Liana Aghabekiam, Fiona Steil-Antoni, one Fidemaster (WFM) Grayna Bakalarz and WCM Hanten Elsa.

One of Malawi’s strongest player CM Joseph Mwale was on the bench because he arrived late as he had to fly out from his base in South Africa to connect with the rest of the squad in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital city.

Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president Susan Namangale, who is with the squad, the players are not demotivated and are looking forward to the next games because their desire is to be in top 100.

“We arrived late here [having left Malawi on Saturday September 21] and probably the players were very tired and also because they were up against Grandmasters.

“The competition mood is very evident, the organising of the Olympiad is impressive and the organisers are working really hard to make the players and delegates very comfortable.

“The environment is relaxing and welcoming and the weather is very good because it’s also summer here. All I can say join me in wishing team Malawi all the best at this chess Oympiad,” Namangale said.

A Grandmaster is the highest title one can attain in the game of chess and is basically achieved over a period of time almost 10 years, through consistent wins in top tournaments, via rigorious study of chess literature/books in academies or using accreditated chess trainers/chess computer engines.

Africa has about 10 Grandmasters. Sub-Saharan Africa has ever produced two GMs in the names Amon Simutowe of Zambia (who stays in USA) and Ken Solomon of South Africa (based in Italy) and Worldwide, the GMs are over 1,500 with Europe producing the most.

The Malawi team departed in a buoyant mood after undergoing a specialised training camp in Blantyre mentored by Russian GM Vasily Papin who drilled the squad for two weeks in August.

During the training camp, the Russian Grandmaster Vasily Papin played an exhibition simultaneous matches against 23 players in which he  beat 21 and drew with three; CM Chipanga, George Mwale and Daisy Nkhoma.

CM Chipanga, who is the 2018 African Amateurs Champion and is also the inspirational for the squad, is the Malawian record holder of having been to six consecutive chess Olympiads since 2008; the World’s most prestigious chess event on the FIDE (World Chess Federation) calendar.

The last Olympiad in 2016 that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan and Malawi was ably represented there as well through FM Mphungu, CM Petros Mfune, CM Chipanga, Alfred Chimthere and Paul Khuphwathea in Open Section while the ladies were Linda Jambo,  Ellen Mpinganjira, Vitumbiko Gondwe, Daisy Nkhoma and Tupokiwe Msukwa.

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RKC
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RKC

Chess Team Malawi! I wish u God’s grace & favour. “All things r possible with God Almighty” Be courageous, focused & determined u will embrace & achieve the desired goal. Do not fear… u can beat them, the opponents remaining on your ladder. All the best, favour & grace to u comrades… u r representing us bigtime!

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