At least 15 local chess players have registered their names to line up against Chinese grandmaster Zhu Chen in simultaneous exhibition matches at Country Club Limbe (CCL) on November 18.
According to Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) publicist Makhosi Nyirenda, the 2001 World Women Chess Champion, who is expected in the country on November 17 to inspire and motivate female chess players, will take on 30 contenders during the games.
“This means we are remaining with 15 players complete the list of Chen’s opponents. Those interested should not hesitate to register by this Sunday,” Nyirenda said.
Meanwhile, the likes of Fide master Gerald Mphungu, candidate masters Chiletso Chipanga and Alfred Chimthere, Petros Mfune and Ellen Mpinganjira have already registered for the battle.
Chen will be the second chess grandmaster to dare a horde of local players for simultaneous exhibition matches after British grandmaster Nigel Short played against 50 locals in 2006.
Then, Short registered a 49.5-0.5 triumph after beating 49 contenders and drawing once against former national champion Kajani Kaunda. Now this is a chance for Malawi’s chess cream to make up for the past humiliation.
Chen, who is married to a Qatari grandmaster Muhammad Al Mudiaski, was the first Chinese player to win an International Competition in 1988 when she won the World’s Girls Under-12 Championship in Rumania.
She is China’s 13th chess grandmaster who defied the odds to competing on the equal footing against top male players and even beating the greatest chess brains in history.