20 August 2018

Malawi: Three Malawian Chess Players Draw With Russian Grandmaster

Photo: Toby Fruge/Flickr
(File photo).

Out of 23 players he played against in simultaneous exhibition games on Saturday at Country Club Limbe, Russian Grandmaster Vasily Papin beat 21 and drew with three, national team players; Candidate Master (CM) Chiletso Chipanga, George Mwale and Daisy Nkhoma.

It took three and a half hours of circum rotating around the 23 player panelists, with long think stop overs here and there for the Grandmaster, who arrived in country on August 6 to train the Malawi team that shall represent the country at the Chess Olympiad to be held in the Eastern European city of Batumi in Georgia from September 23 to October 6.

CM Chipanga, who is the 2018 African Amateurs Champion, was the inspirational man on board 1 as he was first to force the draw and he was followed by Mwale and Nkhoma, all part of the Batumi bound squad.

Daisy Nkhoma's draw was awarded to her by the grandmaster himself, who was impressed by her gallant fight and her bravery to refuse a draw offer from the grandmaster.

It was a great exhibition that was meant to expose and inspire the Malawi players. Other top players that succumbed to the Grandmaster included Stanley Mpinganjira, Overton Kanyinji, Mailosi Nsikiimodzi, Mike Msowoya, Ellen Mpinganjira, Tupokiwe Msukwa and Anne Simwawa.

Junior players were Yebo Sanga, Tafadzwa Linje, Brandon Agius, Lakishita and Dackshesh Dutt, who also put up a gallant fight.

Papin applauded Malawians for putting up a gallant fight and for their hospitality during his stay in Malawi.

Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) publicity secretary Makhosi Nyirenda says the players will include the Batumi Olympiad bound team he is drilling, two juniors and other top 18 rated players.

Malawi chess players have had 2 exhibition exhibitions. In 2006, British Grandmaster Nigel Short almost wiped out all his 44 opponents but Kajani Kaunda saved Malawi's face when he forced a draw as the Briton won 43.5 of the 44 games.

In 2015 Chinese Grandmaster Chen Zhu (a lady) beat Malawi 17.5 of the 20 games. Malawi's top players Candidate Masters Alfred Chimthere and Chiletso Chipanga pulled brilliant wins and while Kamuzu College of Nursing student Godwell Manda forced a draw.

According to online information, Papin was awarded the Grandmaster title in February 2011 for his results in the 7th N.K. Aratovsky Memorial 2007 Open in Saratov, and the 2009 and 2010 M. Chigorin Memorial tournaments in Saint Petersburg.

The Batumi bound Malawi team comprise CM Chiletso Chipanga, CM Joseph Mwale, Fide Master (FM) Gerald Mphungu, George Mwale, Richard Chiona for the Open Section while the ladies are WFM Linda Jambo, Daisy Nkhoma, Tupokiwe Msukwa, Ellen Mpinganjira and Anne Simwawa.

The last Olympiad in 2016 that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan and Malawi was ably represented there as well through FM Mphungu, CM Petros Mfune, CM Chipanga, Alfred Chimthere and Paul Khuphwathea in Open Section while the ladies were Linda Jambo, Ellen Mpinganjira, Vitumbiko Gondwe, Daisy Nkhoma and Tupokiwe Msukwa.


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