By Duncan Mlanjira
Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) will identify it’s representatives for the national championship scheduled December 19-22 at Crossroads Hotel n Lilongwe through a 7 round swiss chess qualifiers to be held this weekend, November 30-December 1 at College of Medicine.
The qualifiers have been categorised into two section, Open and Ladies from high 5 best players in each section that will represent SRCL in the national finals where players will compete for a place in 2020 Chess Olympiad to be held in Russia.
A statement from SRCL is inviting all chess players within region to take part in the tournament as this will help more players get the right exposure and experience in the game.
According to SRCL, registration is in progress and will close on Friday November 29 in order to help the organisers to plan well for a successful tournament.
The registration fees are K2,500 for Chess Association of Malawi (CHESSAM) affiliates players, K5,000 for non-affiliated and K7,500 for those not-affiliated but Illini to register.
“The games will be played based on FIDE rules and regulations as this will also be a rated tournament,” says SRCL in a statement.
SRCL is also asking those who have chess clocks to bring them.
The prizes in the Open Section are K50,000 for the champ, K40,000 for runner-up and K30,000 for third place while the Ladies Section prizes are K30,000 for the champ, K20,000 for runner-up and K10,000 for third place.
For the national finals, registration fees payable by December 15 are K5,000 for Central Region players and K3,000 for SRCL and NRCL players.
A communique from CHESSAM says participants will expected to meet their accommodation needs.
The tournament will be played in accordance of FIDE regulations on a 9-round Swiss System basis.
“However, in the event that the number of participants is less than 10, the tournament will be adjusted to a Round Robin event.
“Draw by agreement offer shall not be permitted before black’s 30th move.
“When the Swiss System is used, tie-breaking process to be used are by game points; direct encounter; Bulcholz cut 1 and Bulcholz.
“When the round robin system is used, the tie-breaking process, in sequence to be used are the game points; the match result between teams in question and the Sonneborn-Berger points.”
The cash prizes are K250,000 for first place; K150,000 for runner-up and K75,000 for third place in Open Section while for the ladies are K150,000 for first place, K100,000 for runner-up and K50,000 for third place.
The chief arbiter shall be appointed by the CHESSAM president Susan Namangale hole the appeals committee will have five members and three reserves chosen from among the participants.
The chief organiser is Namangale, tournament chairperson is Moses Mtumbuka, tournament director is Isaac Mumba while Leonard Sharra and Efrida Msini will be tournament secretaries.
Meanwhile, the champions, Chiletso Chipanga said he is all geared to to defend his title.
“I have been practicing a lot prepared a lot in order to win the SRCL title as well as the national title because from the exposure I want to use it well for the World Chess Olympiad in Russia,” said the champion, who scored 55% during the last Olympiad held in Batumi, Georgia.
Chipanga is also last year’s African Chess Amateurs champion which he won during a tournament held in Livingstone, Zambia.