Malawi has slumped by seven places on the World Chess rankings after finishing on position 32 during the World Chess Olympiad that ended on Saturday at the Istanbul Expo Centre in Turkey.
The teamâ€™s three wins in their first six games gave hopes of finishing among the best 20 teams in the 158-team event, but they blew the chance away after losing their last five matches to Paraguay, Guatemala, Nepal, Taiwan and Trinidad & Tobago.
Armenia won the crown with 19 points, the same points as runners-up Russia. Ukraine took the third slot with 18 points. It was a sad ending for the five-player Malawi squad which finished the contest with only nine points, they won against Kenya (4-0), Malta (2.5-1.5) and Maldives (2.5-1.5).
â€œIt is a sad ending for us. But we should congratulate our representatives for putting up a gallant fight at the international event,â€ said Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) publicist Gilton Mkumbwa.
On individual performance, 19-year-old Joseph Nyambalo, who remained unbeaten until Malawiâ€™s sixth game, has earned the candidate master title despite losing his last three games He now has a rating of 2 156 from 2 100.
Nyambalo has joined Richard Mbedza and Chiletso Chipanga on the ranks. Mbedza and Chipanga were also the countryâ€™s ambassadors at the biennial international competition alongside Joseph Mwale and Paul Kuphwatheya.
This was the fourth time for Malawi to participate in the World Chess Olympiad after doing so in Italy in 2006, German in 2008 and Russia in 2010.