CHISOMO, TAMALA TRIUMPS IN SOURTHEN REGION SCHOOLS CHESS TOURNAMENT

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BY Steven Godfrey Mkweteza

Chisomo Sumani of James Chiona High school and Tamala Mdala of Chiradzulu secondary school, the unsung heroes in chess circles, caused a stir at the St Andrews high school in Blantyre on Saturday when they emerged winners of a day – long S and S genius southern region school chess tournament.

A large field of 151 chess players from various primary and secondary schools within the southern region chess league {SRCL}, including 44 girls swamped the well patronized the inaugural event to contest in the tournament.

“I never expected to be number one. This has been a great surprise to me. I have played chess for years now but never at any time have I been on the top,” said the overexcited Sumani after being presented with a chess set and a trophy and a trophy for his exploits.

Sumani won all matches and chalked six points in the senior boys category to outclass 39 contestants, including his schoolmates Quincy Mukhwapa and Tafadzwa Linje , who tied on 4.5 points but finished second and third correspondingly after a Buccholz tie –breaking system separated them.

In the senior girls category Mdala amassed the maximum of five points in the 30- contestants category as Tinashe Jumbe of Kalibu academy and faith Gondwe of Joyce Banda foundation took silver and bronze with 4.5 points and four points , in that order.

In the junior boys and girls category, Zaithwa Mwale of Blantyre Baptist academy and Alipo primary schools Daisy Huwa claimed ultimate glory in the section respectively.

The Junior boys category had 14 competitors and Mwale topped the list with six points , a point ahead of his runner up and school-mate John Phiri and two points in front of third placed Geoffrey Qongwane of manja primary school.

Huwa triumped in all the fiverounds as her runner-up Chelsea Mpinganjira and third placed Runia Drennom of Blantyre Baptist academy, tied on four points.

Speaking after the prize presentation ceremony, one of the sponsors Susan Namangale pledged continued sponsorship of the future chess schools tournaments.

“Iam encouraged with the turnout today. Frankly speaking the patronage was very good and I promise to be the lifelong partner in the near future by sporting more of these tournament in the whole country,” the former chess player.

Namangale said the tournament was organized to improve chess at the grassroots by targeting primary and secondary schools.

Southern region chess league chairperson Wasoka Chirwa thanked the sponsors for the tournament, saying it helped to increase the levels of chess players in the country.

“ for the past five or so years, we have had no chess tournament in primary and secondary schools. But this tournament will go along the way to increase participation and help the participants in improving their mental, analytical and decision-making skills,” said Chirwa

Chirwa also bemoaned poor participation of chess in public schools as compared to private schools which he attributed to poor infrastructure.

Among the schools participated in the tournament were karibu academy, Zomba barracks, Luchenza Secondary school, st patricks academy private schools, Joyce Banda foundation, Blantyre Baptist academy, Jacaranda, royal heritage academy and st Patrick government secondary school
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Each winner awarded a chess set and a trophy, clocks, recording books while others within the top-three bracket got chess sets plus medals.

The maiden school chess open tournament was sponsored by former chess player Susan Namangale and the prolific writer Stanley Onjezani Kenani to the tune of K300, 000

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