The Paul-Mike Chess Championships qualifiers will roll into action in all the three regions of the country this weekend, Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) has confirmed.
Chessam publicist Gilton Mkumbwa said on Wednesday that the qualifiers in the Centre will take place at the Kamuzu Institute for Sports (KIS) in Lilongwe from Friday to Saturday while in the South and North, the events will be conducted on Saturday at Sports Council in Blantyre and Illala Crest Lodge in Mzuzu respectively.
However, the Chessam spokesperson said the Central Region qualifiers will be unique because a separate sponsor has offered K20 000 (about $20) prize money to the champion.
“The starting time is 8am at all venues and any participant will be required to pay K1 000 ($2.50) registration fees. The competition is open to both male and female players,” said Mkumbwa about the seven-round qualifiers.
Regional champions will sail through to the national encounters where they will face last year’s runner-up Alfred Chimthere and the country’s top-rated players Joseph Nyambalo and Petros Mfune, who have been seeded.
Defending champion Chiletso Chipanga will fight for honours in the 12-match grand finale against winner of the national encounters.
During a press briefing a few weeks ago, sponsors of the contest Paul Nyirenda and Mike Mshali announced increase in this year’s event from K300 000 (about $750) to K550 000 (about $1 375). The winner will receive K100 000 (about $250).