Russian chess grandmaster Vasily Papin, who jetted in the country a week ago, will play Malawi’s 30 top-ranked players this Saturday at Country Club Limbe in Blantyre.
The Russian chess king was invited by Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) to drill 10 players ahead of World Chess Championship to take place in Batumi, Georgia from September 23 to October 6.
The players are CM (Candidate Master) Chiletso Chipanga, CM Joseph Mwale, Fide Master (FM) Gerald Mphungu, George Mwale, Richard Chiona, Linda Jambo, Daisy Nkhoma, Tupokiwe Msukwa, Ellen Mpinganjira and Anne Simwawa.
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday, Chessam publicity secretary Makhosi Nyirenda said the exercise is part of simultaneous exhibition on the chess skills by the Russian grandmaster to the local players.
He said: “This is continued interaction of the Russian trainer with our top players. The arrangement is that he will play 30 top local players on the day. This is good in our preparations for the World game,” he said.
In the previous tournament in Russia, Malawi did not do well however, the participation helped the country to improve at the global ranking from 131 to 128.
“We are taking this year world chess competition on a serious note. Our focus is to produce a Grand Master and the coming of the trainer from Russia confirms our commitment,” said Chessam president Kezzie Msukwa.
One of the national team players, Mpinganjira said they have already acquired new skills within the time they have been with the Russian coach.