The Malawi chess team beat fellow Africans E-swatini 6-0 and Oman 4-2 in the 2020 Online World Chess Olympiad on Saturday to enhance their chances of progressing to the next stage.
They also lost 6-0 to Nigeria, Ethiopia and Lesotho by 4-2 margins on Friday.
With six of nine rounds played in the first two days of the competition, Malawi were on position seven in their 10-team group with four points as of yesterday and needed to win all their remaining games yesterday to finish within the top-three bracket required to make it into the next stage.
They were supposed to play Mauritania, Sudan and Cameroon at press time.
According to the format of the competition, contested by over 100 countries, top-three sides from each 10-team group will be making it to the next stages and the top two teams will battle for ultimate glory on August 30.
A team comprises two men and two women plus a boy and a girl. South Africa-based Fide Master (FM) Joseph Mwale, his elder brother Candidate Master George, Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president Susan Namangale, Annie Simwaba, Praise Kalambo and Caroline Trapence fought on Malawi’s corner.
FM Mwale was Malawi’s best performer, having contributed a total of 4.5 points to the team. He was followed by Namangale (three) and George (2.5)
“It has been a tough contest so far, but we will not give up, we will continue to fight for national pride,” Mwale said.
George Mwale and Tapiwa Banda featured as substitutes for CM Petros Mfune and Simwaba on the second day.
Chessam spokesperson Alfred Chimthere yesterday said they were hopeful that the team will not be eliminated early from the global contest.
So far, Nigeria and Mauritania occupy the top-two slots in the group with 12 points each. Lebanon is third with 10 points.