Blantyre-based draughts lovers have joined hands to sponsor a monthly tournament which is expected to start on March 30 at Namalimwe Primary School in Ndirande Township.
The sponsors, which include Association of Draughts in Malawi (Adma) president Misheck Munthali, general secretary Suzgo Nkhoma, trustee John Gawanani and players Axon Mkandawire and Dickson Geremu, have pumped K460 000 (about $1 150) into the Blantyre End-of-Month Tournament.
Munthali said the contest aims at preparing Blantyre players ahead of national championships on April 18 and Southern African Championships in Lusaka, Zambia in October.
He, however, said the contest will act as a pilot project for the monthly competitions they will soon launch in Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
“The passion to promote draughts is in the mind of many people, especially most of us that play and love the game. It has pleased us to join hands and come up with a competitive tournament designed to take place on the last Sunday of each month in Blantyre starting from March 30,” Munthali said.
According to Nkhoma, each monthly event will be allocated K40 000 (about $100) until the end of the year. He said each monthly champion will be receiving K5 000 (about $12.50) plus a gold medal while second and third-placed players will be carting home K4 000 (about $10) and K3 000 (about $7.50) respectively.
“Those within the top-15 bracket will also be getting something. Entry fee will be K400 per player,” Nkhoma said.
During the launch of the competition at Ndirande Market on Sunday, the organisers set aside(about $37.50) K15 000 for a bonanza, which Geremu won after accumulating 20 points.
National champion Ganizani Majawa claimed the second slot with 19 points. Aaron Kayuni and musician Lyson Njati settled for the third and fourth spots on 15 and 14 points respectively.