By Duncan Mlanjira
Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) has partnered with Crossroads Hotel management which has offered to provide the playing hall free of charge to host the national chess tournament scheduled for December 21-23 in Lilongwe.
Chessam publicity secretary Alfred Chinthere said the deal was signed by Chessam president Susan Namangale and Crossroads Hotels Director S. Sacranie, who is reported to have said Crossroads decided to be part and parcel of chess development in Malawi to develop strategic and creative thinkers.
“Mr. Sacranie said they will consider more support for chess in the future. The Chessam president thanked Crossroads Management for the kind gesture which will go a long way as the association is working hard to take chess to greater heights,” Chinthere said.
The tournament has been organised after cancellation of Zone 4.3 Under-16 tournament which Chessam was supposed to host in Blantyre from December 15-23. That tournament cancelled in consultation with the African Chess Confederation (ACC) board due to lack of funding.
This national tournament will comprise five categories and it will also be used as a qualifier to the Africa Amateur Championship slated for December 30 to January 7 in Namibia.
“Meanwhile CHESSAM continues to hunt for more corporate partnerships in a bid to uplift the standards of the game in the country.”
The format of the national tournament is FIDE rated of 9 rounds of Swiss pairing system and using qualified arbiters.
Prizes for the Open category is K120,000 for the champion, K80,000 for runner-up, K50,000 for third place, K30,000 for 4th place and K20,000 for 5th place.
For category B, which is those below 1800 elo rating, the champion will receive K80,000, runner-up K60,000, third place K35,000, 4th place K20,000 and 5th place K15,000.
The ladies category will see the champion pocketing K80,000, runner-up K60, 000, third place K35,000, 4th place K20,000 and 5th place K15,000.
Category D is for Under 16-18 boys and girls separately to receive K50,000, K30,000 and K20,000 for the top three respectively.
Category E is for Under 12-14, boys and girls separately who will get items worth K50,000, K30,000 and K20,000 for the top three respectively.
Chinthere said registration fee for Open and B categories is K3,000 and K2,000 for ladies category and K1,000 for the juniors to be paid through Chessam treasurer general, Vitumbiko Ndovie and the deadline is December 19
Other prizes include T-Shirts for top 10 in the seniors categories for top 7 in juniors categories.
Chessam will also present special awards to players who attained new titles obtained in Batumi Olympiad namely one FIDE Master (FM), one Candidate Master (CM) and one Woman Candidate Master (WCM).
Best players as well best journalist will also be recognized with an award.