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The 2024 Malawi National Chess Championship

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The 2024 Malawi National Chess Championship

The 2024 Malawi National Chess Championship has concluded, with FM Joseph Mwale and Caroline Trapence taking home the Open and Ladies Championship titles, respectively.

The event was held at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe, from March 29th to 31st, 2024, was intense as chess players battled for the coveted title of National Champion.

FM Joseph Mwale and Caroline Trapence the proud winners of the 2024 Malawi National Chess Championship.
FM Joseph Mwale and Caroline Trapence the proud winners of the 2024 Malawi National Chess Championship.

The nine-round tournament had a dual objective: identifying the Open and Women’s Champions and selecting the National teams to represent Malawi at the 45th FIDE World Chess Olympiad in Budapest, Hungary.

FM Joseph Mwale emerged as the undisputed Champion in the Open category with a determined and robust performance, amassing seven points.  He received a cash prize of MWK 800,000 (USD 460), modern headsets from M1 Electronics, a chess set from The Gift of Chess, and a trophy for his feat.

CM Alfred Chimthere, aka The Great Finisher, secured second place with 6.5 points, beating CM Petros Mfune,aka Razorblade, to third place by tiebreaks, as they both scored 6.5 points.  Precious Kamwendo and CM George Mwale took fourth and fifth place, respectively, completing the national team’s bracket for the Olympiad.

Interestingly, FM Joseph Mwale has now won the Malawi National Chess Champion title a record eight times!

FM Joseph Mwale receiving his trophy.
FM Joseph Mwale receiving his trophy.

Ladies Section

Caroline Trapence showed her talent in the Women’s section by scoring seven points out of nine rounds.  She drew two games and lost one against Tamara KaliwoCaroline received a cash prize of MWK 400,000 (USD 230), a trophy, modern headsets from M1 Electronics, and a chess set from The Gift of Chess.  Her dominance marked her first national title and victory in a CHESSAM competition.

Susan Namangale, who scored 6 points out of 9 rounds, demonstrated her chess skills and finished in second place.  WFM Linda Jambo, Tupokiwe Msukwa, and Annie Simwaba completed the top 5 in that order, forming the Women’s national team.

Priyasha Shriyan, the defending Malawi National Ladies Champion, missed this year’s edition due to her study commitments.

Game Corner

Prizes & Closing Ceremony

CHESSAM awarded cash prizes to the top ten players in the open section and the top seven in the women’s category.  These 17 players also received chess sets from The Gift of Chess.

During the prize-giving ceremony, the CHESSAM president emphasized CHESSAM’s vision of making Malawi a chess-playing nation and how the NCC initiative fits into that vision.  He acknowledged support from the Sports Council, FIDE, Umodzi Park, M1 Electronics, and The Gift of Chess.

The Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr Katopola, the Guest of Honour, pledged continued support for the sport and encouraged the corporate world to invest in chess as preparations for the Olympiad participation begin.

The Gift of Chess representative, WFM Uyanga Byamba, highlighted how chess transcends language and social barriers, serving as a universal language.  She shared her experience of how chess transformed her life and expressed her desire for Malawi’s youth to benefit from the game.

Susan Namangale, speaking for The Gift of Chess, added that the organization plans to scale up its efforts to complement CHESSAM’s vision in Malawi by distributing even more chess sets in the country.

Prize winners, and officials pose for a group photo.
Prize winners, and officials pose for a group photo.
The 2024 Malawi National Chess
Event poster.

Joseph Mwale & Priyasha Shriyan are the 2022 Malawi Chess Champions.

2022 Malawi National Chess Championship on chess-results.com

PGNs from Open section of 2022 Malawi National Championship.

PGNs from Ladies section of 2022 Malawi National Championship.

CM Alfred Chimthere wins the 2020 Malawi Championship.

FM Joseph Mwale wins 2018 Mdina Chess Championship.

IM Chitumbo Mwali wins 2017 Malawi Open Chess Championship.

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Article by Kenya Chess Masala.