Candidate master Chiletso Chipanga has won the K120 000 (about $352) Mdina Business Solutions Exclusive Open Championships which acted as the Southern Region Chess League’s (SRCL) qualifiers for the K300 000 (about $882) Paul and Mike Individual National Chess Tournament.
The seven-round championships, held at Beit Cure International Hospital in Blantyre on Sunday, saw Chipanga collecting 6.5 points to beat a field of 30 players.
Apart from receiving K15 000 (about $44), Chipanga will represent SRCL during the national finals of the Paul and Mike Tournament at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe on February 23 alongside Khama Chindole.
The Central Region Chess League (CRCL) already identified Alfred Chimthere and Gerald Mphungu as its representatives while the Northern Region Chess League (NRCL) will have Wilson Chingati and Fiskani Mwagomba.
“I am having a great feeling after winning this competition today and I would like to hold on to this feeling as I go to the national finals,” said Chipanga in his victory speech.
But the contest appeared tough for former national champion Kajani Kaunda and Malawi’s highest-rated chess player Joseph Nyambalo as they finished fourth and fifth respectively with five points each.
Vitumbiko Gondwe was the only female contestant at the event.