The 2012 presidential chess tournament set for Mzuzu is heating up. Since the announcement by Chessam in Mangochi late last year of the host city to be Mzuzu, every player in Mzuzu is excited and hopes to take advantage of the home ground and beat the visiting players in the likes of Chiletso Chipanga, Joseph Mwale( who recently ended up on 4th position in the just ended African Youth Championship in Lusaka last December) and others. A tour of duty to Mchengautuwa, Chibavi and Katawa revealed similar findings where Martin Mambulasa, Rombani Kaluwa and Seko Soko (aka GM) respectively, all believe they will finish tops. You go to Mchengautuwa, you will find players glued to a single board at Mphande's barbershop; in Chibavi under some unique long bluegum trees,all preparing for the event. The nomadic Katawa group have no real fixed playing venue.
Mzuzu players have never been on the top 10 ranking since the inception of the presidential chess championship in 2008,save for woman Champion Linda Jambo. In similar tournaments, Mzuzu players have often ended up with wooden spoons; memorable on this was the strongman, zambian trained Wasoka Chirwa in 2006.
However, the game has tremendously improved, thanks to the motivation through the gracious sponsorship of Ilala Crest Lodge Ltd who have granted free playing venues for Chess and an offer of Mk100,000 for the year.
Meanwhile, the organising commiittee for this tournament has been appointed and it consists of: Sam Nkwazi (Chair), Isaac Mphande, Martin Mambulasa, Innocent Salanjira, Georgina Musowoya, Linda Jambo and a representative from Malawi Schools Sports Association (MASSA).
The presidential tournament is for both schools and seniors.
We live to witness who will scoop the wooden weapon.