Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) says players that have qualified for the three-day Presidential and World Chess Olympiad finals slated for May 14-16 in Lilongwe will have to find own means of transport, accommodation and food.
The situation has prompted some players from the Southern and Northern regions to surrender their slots, saying the arrangement is beyond their financial capabilities.
Most of the qualified individuals said they would not be able to make it to the national finals trip.
Precious Kamwendo, from the South said: “I will not go to Lilongwe for the national finals because the cost is just too much. Transport alone will cost me K10 000 (about $14). If you add that with cost of accommodation and food for three days, it means I need about K30 000 (about $43). Now, for a student like me, where can I get all that money?”
However, Chessam spokesperson Makhosi Nyirenda said they cannot afford to pay for the players’ transport, accommodation and food because their K1 million (about $1 435) Presidential Championships allocation was only meant for prizes and the booking of venues.
“It is also our wish that whatever we get from the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) as annual subvention should be used to subsidise costs for those that will eventually qualify for the World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan this September,” he said.
The regional qualifiers completed last weekend when the South and the Centre identified six and seven male representatives, respectively.
Gerald Mphungu, Kamwendo, Alfred Chimthere, Frank Khonje, Stanley Biyasi and Richard Chiona (men’s category) and Ellen Mpinganjira, Magret Ngugama, Tumpale Mhango, Miracle Mukiwa and Priscilla Mbewe will represent the South.
The Central Region produced George Mwale, Hope Mwazozo, Stanford Chibambo, Dan Maliro, Petros Mfune, Davie Mawango and Hubert Nanthambwe (men’s category) and Linda Jambo, Daisy Nkhoma, Jennifer Mwenebanda, Wezzie Mzia, Beatrice Longer and Taurai Kampeni (women’s category). n