Kaunda stuttered during the Southern Region encounters two weeks ago.
The former national champion, who was on the verge of missing a second World Chess Olympiad after the 2010 event in Russia, failed to be among the top six in the regional encounters.
But a ray of hope has flickered again for Kaunda because the Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) has decided to seed rated player Joseph Nyambalo, who finished 6th in the regional games. This has created space for Kaunda in the four-day national finals.
According to Chessam publicist Gilton Mkumbwa, Nyambalo has been seeded alongside rated players Chiletso Chipanga, Alfred Chimthere, Richard Mbedza, Petros Mfune and Chuma Mwale.
Defending champion Joseph Mwale has also been seeded for the national finals.
“Nyambalo took part in the regional contest because our decision to seed rated players came after the Southern Region event,” said Mkumbwa, adding that all qualified individuals should use own transport to the national finals. Now, Kaunda will represent the South at the national encounters along with Gerald Mphungu, Richard Chiona, Stanley Mpinganjira, Mayamiko Pemba and Peter Jailosi. The female section will have Ndawonga Mwale, Vitumbiko Gondwe, Lucy Jailosi and Patricia Chihana.
The North will usher in Wilson Chingati, Moses Mtumbuka, Kondwani Nyirenda, Innocent Salanjira, Chimwemwe Chavula and Atwel Tembo alongside female players Linda Jambo, Elita Ngwenya and Getrude Chaomba whereas the Centre will have Fiskani Mwagomba, Khama Chindole, Emmanuel Longwe, George Mwale, Matthews Subili and Stanford Chibambo.