Candidate Master (CM) Chiletso Chipanga on Sunday reclaimed the National Chess Championship crown with an unbeaten run at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.
With six wins and three draws, the Zomba-based chess gladiator reached the desired 7.5 points mark in the nine-round contest to retain the honours and, with it, a K120 000 prize, a trophy and a gold medal according to a press statement from Chessam.
At the end of the three-day event that had 96 players, Chipanga was a-point-and-a-half better than his runner-up Fiskani Mwagomba and third-placed Precious Kamwendo, who tied on six points, but were separated by a Buccholz tie-breaking system. The two received K80 000 and K50 000, respectively.
“It feels great to defend the title with an unbeaten record. This proves why I am still the best chess player in the country,” said Chipanga, who beat Kamwendo, Petros Mfune, George Mwale, Ernest Matola, George Mawango and Peter Nyama before shading draws against Mwagomba, CM Joseph Nyambalo and Ronald Chimkute.
In the ladies section, Women Fide Master (WFM) Linda Jambo-Chaononga reigned supreme with 8.5 points to earn K80 000 prize, a trophy and a gold medal. Ellen Mpinganjira-Mtemang’ombe won the runner-up slot with seven points while Martha Kapalamula finished third with 5.5 points. They received K60 000 and K35 000, in that order.
In Under-18 boys category, Blessings Kamanga took the ultimate glory with 6.5 points whereas Annie Simwaba did it in the girls section with five points. Lakshita Dutt won the crown in the Under-14 category with eight points. Each received K50 000.
Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president Susan Namangale, who competed in the ladies’ section and took position five with five points, described the event as competitive.
“This was a wonderful tournament considering that a lot of players have improved and gave experienced contestants tough time on the chessboard. We will organise more tournaments in 2019 so that the players can further enhance their skills,” she said.
Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Grace Chiumia, who was the guest of honour, said government is committed to continued support of the mental sport in the country.