Chiletso Chipanga has defied the odds to win the Africa Amateur Chess Championship.
The tournament was held in Livingstone, Zambia, at the weekend.
Chipanga, who was Malawi’s sole representative at the tournament, won eight consecutive games.
The Malawi candidate master beat the tournament’s favourites such as Zimbabwean chess king Dhemba Jemuse.
“After eight rounds today Malawian Chiletso Chipanga has won the Africa Amateur Championship with eight points unbeaten. His runner-up had seven points. He has done the country proud,” said arbiter Isaac Mumba who accompanied Chipanga.
Speaking in an interview from Zambia, Chipanga attributed the triumph to thorough preparations.
“It feels good to be the champion. However, it was not easy. I had to sweat for it,” he said.
For his feat, Chipanga received an equivalent of K723 000, a gold medal, trophy and a return air ticket to Italy where he will represent Malawi at the World Amateur Chess Championship in April.
The tournament attracted over 45 chess players from across the continent.
According to Chess Associstion of Malawi (Chessam) president Kezzie Msukwa, this is the first time ever for a Malawian chess player to win gold at continental level.
“I was delighted to see my player receiving a gold medal this evening having waited for over 14 years. So sweet! Congratulations, Chilly Chipanga. You have changed our CV. Thanks to Susan Namangale for pulling resources together and ensuring the boy travelled to Zambia,” he said. n