Team Malawi register wins at World Chess Olympiad 

Malawi men’s team beat Guam 3-1 in their second round of games played today September 25 in the 43rd World Chess Olympiad taking place in the Eastern European city of Batumi in Georgia while the ladies lost won one, drew one and lost two to fellow Africans Uganda.

Team Malawi’s ladies squad

It took more than 5.5 hours for the men’s FM Gerald Mphungu to lose to Guam’s untitled Elmer Prudent long while George Mwale beat Elias Tirador, CM Chiletso Chipanga beat Fide Arbiter Rogelio L. Orio and CM Joseph Mwale beat Almer Santos.

Top titled player for Guam, a U.S. island tetritory in Micronesia in the Western Pacific, is a FIDE Arbiter Rogelio L. Orio. An FA is a sort of an umpire in chess.

In the women’s section, Malawis top player WFM Linda Jambo lost to Uganda’s WFM Phiona Mutesi. Mutesi is Uganda’s celebrated woman chess player, who also rose to prominence through the real life  movie that Hollywood made called ‘Queen of Katwe’.

Ellen Mpinganjira beat WFM Christine Namaganda while Anne Simwaka, 14-year old student at Katoto Secondary drew with Feninan Nakabu. Magret Ngugama lost to Gloria Nanaubinga.

Final score for ladies Uganda 2.5 Malawi 1.5 and the men’s was Malawi 3 Guam 1.

In their first matches played on Monday, the men’s team fell 0-4 to 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 were also beaten 0-4 by Luxembourg’s Grandmaster (WGM) Elvira Berend, two International Master (WIM) Liana Aghabekiam, Fiona Steil-Antoni, one Fidemaster (WFM) Grayna Bakalarz and WCM Hanten Elsa.

Joseph Mwale, who is one of Team Malawi’s strong players, missed the thrashing by Brazil 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.

The Malawi team departed on Saturday 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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