With this year’s first edition finals of the Lab Enterprises Chess Championships ready to start at the College of Medicine in Blantyre this weekend, title holder Joseph Nyambalo has vowed to retain the honours.
For the last three editions, nobody managed to defend the title due to stiff competition among the heavyweights and the fast-improving skills of up-and-coming players. The last three editions were won by Joseph Mwale, Richard Chiona and James Kamowa respectively.
The three former champions have also made it into the finals this time around, thereby casting doubt on the prospects of Nyambalo defending the crown. But the 19-year-old Che-Mussa resident said he is set to prove doubting Thomases wrong.
“I spent a lot of time at home to perfect my skills, especially the opening moves because I know it is no longer easy to defend a title nowadays. I have read a number of chess books from which I have learnt some new tricks,” Nyambalo said.
During the finals, Nyambalo will represent the Southern Region alongside Kamowa, Chiona, Edgar Khan, Goodson Kapena, Makhosi Nyirenda, Stanley Mpinganjira, Innocent Bamusi and Rumbani Mkamanga.
According to Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) chairperson Susan Namangale, the Central Region will have Mwale and Khama Chindole as ambassadors while the North will be represented by Kondwani Nyirenda and Wilson Banda.
Namangale said the contest for the men’s B category will be among Stepples Jere, Duncan Manda, Steve Chingondo, John Bosco and Ted Chiwaula whereas all female players will be allowed to fight in the ladies’ section.