It does not happen often, but chess players Paul Nyirenda and Mike Mshali have joined hands to sponsor a national tournament to be launched at Sports Council this Saturday.
The sponsors said the K300 000 (about $882) Paul-Mike National Individual Chess Tournament is a manifestation of their boundless passion for the sport they first fell in love with about two decades ago.
“The two of us have been friends since childhood and chess has always been the most exciting pastime for us. Through the sport, we have learned strategic planning, patience and determination to excel in life.
“We have, therefore, come up with this sponsorship to honour the sport that has helped to shape our careers,” said Nyirenda.
Chessam vice-president Mark Chikoko told Nation Online on Tuesday the contest will have a unique and challenging format to help local players reach the ranks of Fide grandmasters.
He said each of the country’s three regions is expected to identify best two players who will compete at national level. From there, the winner and runner-up will compete for the K50 000 (about $147) first prize during a 12-game battle in June.
“The objective of this contest is to ensure that a Malawian player acquires a grandmaster title within five years. This is why we have set up a challenging format. We expect it to be an exciting tournament,” said Chikoko.