The African Junior Chess Championships ended on Tuesday in Angola with Malawi’s ambassadors Adrian Mhango and Ulemu Mbewe stuttering positions 17 and 14 in the respective 18-contestant open and girls categories.
Mhango won three of his nine games to amass three points. Mbewe collected similar points, but finished on a better position in the ladies’ section after beating the buchholz tie-breaking system against those on the last four slots.
However, Isaac Mumba, who accompanied the youngsters, said the outcome is not worrying considering that this is the first time the two have taken part in an international event.
“I believe the pressure of contesting in such a big event for the first time took its toll on their performance and they are not used to playing with digital clocks around,” Mumba said.
The Africa Junior Chess Championship is the biggest junior chess event on the continent. Malawi senior players such as candidate master Chiletso Chipanga, Joseph Mwale and his brother Chuma, took part in the 2007 event. ■