Three chess players are expected to fly to Russia this month after securing five-year scholarships under the world chess governing body, Fide.
Mischeck Nyirenda, Adrian Mhango and Emmanuel Kalua will pursue Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Bachelor Administration and Masters of Philosophy respectively, according to Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president Kezzie Msukwa.
He said the three have since returned from Zimbabwe where they went to process their visas at the Russian Embassy and Chessam is currently negotiating with the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) about their air tickets.
“The players will spend their first year learning the Russian language before pursuing their studies. They will also be exposed to numerous chess competitions where they will gain more knowledge and skills to impart in local players upon their return,” Msukwa said.
According to Msukwa, in conjunction with the Russian government, Fide advertised the scholarships to their member federations worldwide in January and since then, Chessam put the advert on their Facebook page for local chess players to apply.
“The scholarships were open to all local chess players that qualify for tertiary education. Most of the people that showed interest to apply did not have the basic requirement, which was the passport,” said Msukwa.
Nevertheless, he said local players should prepare themselves for the next scholarship advertisement that will come later. The Chessam president said this was the first time that Fide came up with such scholarships.