Malawi’s top-rated chess player Candidate Master (CM) Chiletso Chipanga is making headway at the World Amateur Chess Championship in Italy where he has, so far, secured three-straight wins to tie on three points with three other contestants at the summit of the 45-player event.
The reigning Africa Amateur Chess champion has the same points as Mongolian Fide Master (FM) Myagmarsuren Gunbayar and Colombian FM Angel Miguel Garavito but he is third on the ladder because he is inferior to the two in terms of rating points.
Chipanga, who is rated 24th at the international competition, is now remaining with six games to complete his fixtures, including a meeting with event’s second-rated contestant Gunbayar in round four yesterday. Chipanga’s rating is 2126 while that of Gunbayar is 2265.
According to www.chessresults.com, Chipanga started off his campaign by beating Fadhil Jidal Ali Shmed Said of Oman before crushing FM Bibek Zhunussov of Kazakhstan and Brazilian Mendonca Zanotti Hugo Caetano.
Against Shunussov, it took him 40 moves to earn the victory while against Caetano in round-three it required him a marathon of 69 moves to win the closely-contested match.
“We are well represented at the global competition and we are confident that Chipanga will bring home a medal,” said Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) spokesperson Makhosi Nyirenda.
Former Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) chairperson Susan Namangale sponsored Chipanga’s trip to Italy, where eventual champion will receive about K7 million ($10 000).
Chipanga qualified for the world championship after winning gold at the recent African Amateur Chess Championship in Zambia. n