Players who will represent Malawi at the Zone 4.3 Chess Championship in Gaborone, Botswana in March this year have been told to source own funding.
In a communication made available to The Nation on Tuesday, Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) said the K3 million annual subvention they get they from government through Malawi National Sports Council (MNSC) is not enough to cater for costs of participating at the tournament.
Chessam President Kezzie Msukwa said Malawi is expected to send eight players to the Zone 4.3 tournament.
“We have four slots in each category. However, we will not be able to sponsor anyone. The funding we get from Sports Council is not enough to cater for all our activities.
“On that note, we are advising our players to start looking for funds on their own to meet the costs of taking part at the tournament,” advised Msukwa.
The Zone 4.3 tournament, according to chess-rated player Linda Jambo, is a gate-way to acquire the International Master title and the qualification to the 2018 chess Individual World Cup to take place in Georgia, United States.
“The current situation does not give us hope; these are competitions that can provide us a forum to expose our potential on the international stage. To qualify for the Individual World Cup in 2018, we need to participate in such tournaments,” she said.
The country has Alfred Chimthere, Chiletso Chipanga, Petros Mfune and Joseph Nyambalo in the men’s category with possibly Ellen Mpinganjira, Daisy Nkhoma, Anne Simwawa and Tupokiwe Msukwa as representative in the women category.
MNSC executive secretary George Jana said it is pity that the Chessam is failing to top up on the subvention they get from government.
“It is the expectation of the council that our member associations participate in local and international competitions to grow the sport using own generated or any money from the Government. It is pity that they cannot add to the money from Government to make the trip,” he said.
In December last year, Yewo Sanga and Kezzie Msukwa Junior also represented the country at Africa Schools Chess Championship in Lusaka using own resources after Chessam also failed to raise K4 million for 15 junior chess players. n