Zambian chess ace IM Chitumbo Mwali popularly known as ‘Copper Eagle’ flew high enough to win the 2017 Malawi Open Chess Championship with 8.5 points out of a possible 9, last weekend in Mzuzu City, Malawi. He was 2.5 points clear his runner-up CM Chiletso Chipanga who could only manage 6 points.
CM Joseph Nyambalo was third with with 6 points, FM Gerald Mphungu was 4th with also 6 points. The 3 were separated by the Bucholoz tie breaking system.
Chipata based, Zambian Ellias Phiri was 5th with 5.5 points.
The ‘Copper Eagle’ seemed to have reached a cul-de-sac when he was was ambushed in a chaotic middle game by CM Chiletso Chipanga in round 4 . But the calm ‘Copper Eagle’ found the only winning variation in the forest of unclear lines to destroy Chipanga in spectacular fashion. In the other death game against Malawi’s highest titled player, FM Gerald Mphungu, the wind seemed to have blown Chitumbo’s way when Mphungu lost his material advantage to give the game away to the ‘Copper Eagle’.
The Malawi Open Chess Championship is an annual event sponsored by Mdina Business Solution, a South African based company owned by a Malawian, Tiwone Mdina. This year’s event was attended by 5 Zambians and about 30 Malawian players.
At the closing ceremony IM Chitumbo, who pocketed USD 405 and a glittering trophy, thanked Mdina Business Solutions for sponsoring him to the event
In the Ladies Section WCM Phylis Mwilolo of Zambia beat Malawi’s Vitumbiko Gondwe in a blitz tie breaker to pocket USD 135 and a glittering trophy.
Report done by Makhosi Nyirenda who is the Publicity Secretary of Chess Association of Malawi.