The Mdina Business Solutions Chess Championships ended in resounding victory for Petros ‘Razor-blade’ Mfune at Hotel Victoria in Blantyre on Sunday.
Making calculated risks and outsmarting his opponents with terrific opening preparation, the Lilongwe-based chess giant had an insurmountable 8.5 points finish to be crowned champion with a game to spare in the nine-round contest.
His defining moment arrived in the seventh round when the reigning Paul & Mike Chess champion beat his strongest title-contender candidate master Alfred Chimthere, who was then a single point behind.
Mfune, who grabbed the ultimate K250 000 (US$556) winner’s purse, played with white pieces and was in control all through this 28-move game, although the tension seemed to be quite enormous.
“Of all the talent that participated in Mdina chess, I was not the finest, but it was by the grace of God that I have won the title. I thank the Almighty for the glory and I thank my wife, Mercy, for her understanding of my love for the game,” said Mfune.
However, Mfune’s victory has kept alive doubts on whether anybody would ever defend the crown that has been won by six different individuals so far. Peter Jailosi could not defend it this year after finishing on a distant 13th with 4.5 points.
Candidate masters Chiletso Chipanga and Chimthere tied on 6.5 points but they finished as runner-up and third-placed, respectively, after been separated by a buccholz tie-breaking system in the 20-player open category.
But it was a hard task to determine champion in the women’s section where women fide master Linda Jambo and Margaret Ngugama tied on 6.5 points. They won all their games except an encounter against each other, which ended in a draw.
Representative of Mdina Business Solutions, Jeka Chipofya said South Africa-based engineers Tiwone Mdina and Chipeta will continue sponsoring the competition.