By Duncan Mlanjira
James Kamowa carries the hopes of the Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) ahead of the Chess Association of Malawi (CHESSAM) national championship after winning the qualifiers played over the weekend at Country Club Limbe.
From 7 rounds played of 60 minutes, Kamowa amassed 6 points while Joseph Nyambalo was the runner-up with 5.5 points.
Eight players — Precious Kamwendo, Ishmael Harrison, Stanley Biyasi, Amos Chigowo, John Mkumba, Francisco Mwangupili, Ryan MacJessie and Chiletso Chipanga — shared the third place after tying at 5 points each.
The ladies section was won by Caroline Trapence with 3.5 points while Tupokiwe Msukwa and Lucy Chazemba tied with 2 points apiece but were separated to come second and third respectively.
There were only five ladies that took part in the qualifiers and they have all qualified — according to SRCL publicity secretary Wadza Otomani. The other two ladies are Ruth Mutambo and Rachael Jayloss.
“The qualifiers were very competitive and participation was good,” Otomani said. “A total of 15 players have qualified for the CHESSAM National Championship while three — Peter Jailosi, Bright Nthara and Kujaliwa Kapyepye have been put on standby.”
“The qualifiers were very competitive and participation was good. A total of 15 players have qualified for the Chessam Championship. Three other players namely Peter Jayloss, Bright Nthara and Kujaliwa Kapyepye have been put on standby,” he said.
The Central Region held its qualifiers a fortnight ago Kamuzu Institute for Sports in which two Candidate Masters (CM) Alfred Chinthere and Woman Fide Master (WFM) Linda Jambo were champions.
From 7 rounds of 60min per player, CM Chinthere amassed 5.5 points from a possible 7 — winning four games and drawing three to Ernest Matola, CM Petros Mfune and Khama Chindole while Richard Chiona took second position — also with 5.5 points and were separated by tie break.
He lost to Chimthere and drew one game while CM Mfune was third after losing to Chiona and drew two games including with the eventual winner.
The top 10 in order was rounded off by Fishani Mwagomba, CM George Mwale, Matola, Chiwambo, Jimu, Mwazozo and Msowoya.
While the Open section had 30 players, the ladies’ only had seven that saw WFM Jambo winning with 4.5 points.
She drew two with WCM Ellen Mpinganjira and Tapiwa Banda hole 14-year-old prodigy Sharon Kapende caused a sensation in the hall by coming second.
She managed to beat seasoned and titled WCM Ellen Banda and only only lost to experienced champion Jambo.
WCM Ellen Mpinganjira was third and the top 5 was rounded off by Tapiwa Banda and junior Praise Mbewe.