Malawi’s highest chess rated player, Joseph Mwale’s Chess Academy’s students, coaches as well as Chess Association of Malawi (CHESSAM) president Susan Namangale, have made it into 12 players that will represent the country during the online 2020 Olympiad that will take place month-end of July to August.
The second and final online selection tournament took place on Tuesday night and involved 10 players in the Open section, 7 in the Ladies section and 8 in the Junior section.
South Africa-based Fide Master Joseph Mwale scooped 5.5 points to emerge top followed by Candidate Masters Petros Mfune (5 points); Chiletso Chipanga (4.5 points) and Joseph’s brother George (4.5 points).
In the Ladies section, Mzuzu-based Annie Simwaba (5 points) triumphed ahead of CHESSAM president Namangale, who finished second on 3.5 points, while Tapiwa Banda (3 points) and WCM Ellen Mpinganjira (2 points) completed the slots.
Lilongwe-based student Praise Kalambo (4 points) leads the Junior section and the other players who made the cut are Tupochele Mlanjira (3 points), Charity Tadeyo (2 points) and Carol Trapence (1 point).
In his message on their Academy’s special WhatsApp group, Mwale congratulated all his players and also his assistant coaches who made it Petros Mfune and his brother George.
“Congrats to into the ladies team our new academy star Annie Simwaba , who was followed by our academy guest — madam president Namangale,” Mwale said.
He also praised juniors Lakshita and Dakshesh Dutt for the “super perfomance” for making into into the final online selection tournament.
World Chess Federation, FIDE has organised the online Olympiad after postponing the actual Olympiad that was due in September in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia next year due to coronavirus pandemic.
According to CHESSAM publicist, Alfred Chimthere, the format for the online Olympiad will feature 6 players from each country — 2 each from open and ladies and junior sections.
“The two junior players in the team comprise a boy and a girl. The other 6 players are reserves.
“The Online Olympiad 2020 is expected to attract 150 countries or more, globally. The national teams will be split into divisions to smoothen the organisation of the games.”
Meanwhile, Chinthere announced that CHESSAM has appointed Polytechnic student, Francisco Mwangupili, who finished sixth in the qualifiers, to be captain of the team.
The final online selection tournament on Tuesday had CM George Mwale, Precious Kamwendo, FM Joseph Mwale, Francisco Mwangupili, Dave Mawango, CM Chiletso Chipanga, CM Richard Mbedza, Amos Chigowo, CM Paul Khuphwathea and CM Petros Mfune in the open section.
The ladies section had Annie Simwaba, Priyasha Shriyan, WCM Ellen Mpinganjira, Magret Ngugama, WFM Linda Chaononga, Susan Namangale and Tapiwa Banda.
The juniors had Praise Kalambo, Yebo Sanga, Tupochele Mlanjira, Lakshita Dutt, Dakshesh Dutt, Ashish Gupta, Charity Tadeyo and Carol Trapence.