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Nyambalo guarantees to defend Lab Chess title
June 29, 2011

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.

Nyambalo leads, big names fall in Lab chess qualifiers
April, 13, 2011

Title holder Joseph Nyambalo led during this year's first edition qualifiers of the Lab Chess Championships at the College of Medicine (CoM) on 10 April 2010 to authenticate his desire to defend the title at the finals.

The 19-year-old Che-Mussa resident finished the two day qualifiers in A category of the contest with five points to lead a group of 10 players that have made it into the finals.

James Kamowa emerged runner-up with 4.5 points. Edgar Khan, Goodson Kapena, Makhosi Nyirenda, Stanley Mpinganjira were tied at four points while Richard Chiona, Innocent Bamusi and Rumhani Mkamanga were tied at 3.5 points.

"I know it is not easy to lead during the qualifiers and subsequently win the title at the finals, but I will do my best to be one of the few individuals who have ever achieved this feat," declared Nyambalo.

However, the 30 member qualifiers were unpredictable as a number of big names including candidate masters Chiletso Chipanga and Joseph Chalemba alongside former national champion Kajani Kaunda failed to progress into the last stage.

Out of the three heavyweights, only Chipanga has a chance of being roped into the finalists list as he has been put on a standby for finishing on 11th position, a single step behind the required 10-member finalists pack, while Kaunda and Chilemba were stuck on positions 14 and 18 respectively.

According to the acting Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) general secretary Gilton Mkumbwa, the region's A-category finalists will be joined by those that will make it at the qualifiers in the Central and Northern regions to fight for honours at the finals in the next two weeks.

Lab chess back
April, 12, 2011

The K600 000 Lab Enterprises chess competition for the Southern Region Chess League's (SRCL) returns today at the College of Medicine's Sports Complex with the first edition of qualifiers.

The first edition for this year will be played over six rounds to wind up tomorrow, SRCL general secretary Stanley Mpinganjira said on Thursday.

To be played in Swiss Pairing system, the qualifiers are open to senior men and juniors save for ladies who have earned automatic final berths.

"The qualifiers will produce top ten finalists who will have to sort it out this month end in the final. The players will compete in divisions A and B at the Sports Complex," Mpinganjira explained.

Now in the fourth straight year of Lab sponsorship, the competition's winners for last year's editions were James Kamowa, Joseph Mwale and Joseph Nyambalo, among others.

Entry fee for today's qualifiers is K400. Prizes are reserved for the month end finals and not in the qualifiers.

Lipipa rules at banda's sendoff tourney
February, 22, 2011

Lab Enterprises managing director Noel Lipipa surprised the chess fraternity when he won a Sendoff Chess Tournament for the Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) vice-chairperson Dr Richard Banda.

Since his company started sponsoring the Lab Chess Championship over five years ago, Lipipa has rarely been seen playing the game but his true colours as a chess wizard were shown when he won all his four encounters to amass 4 complete points.

His casualties in the 12-member day-long contest included candidate master Joseph Chalemba who was runner-up with 3 points and SRCL acting general secretary Stanley Mpinganjira who grabbed the third slot with 2.2 points.

“I am a complete chess player only that I fail to take part in most competitions due to tight work engagements,” he said.

On his part, Banda who is going to South Africa for studies, said he was very thankful to the SRCL for honouring him with the event.

“This really shows that chess is the sport that promotes love and friendship. I thank you for the support and the encouragement,” he said.


Malawi Sun Hotel to spoil Lab chess winners
September 20 2010

Blantyre-based Malawi Sun Hotel has revealed that apart from spicing-up the second edition of the Lab Chess Championships finals with free venue and snacks this weekend, they will also spoil the winners of the three categories with free dinners.

At a press briefing on Friday, the hotel’s general manager Rizvaan Osman said the winner of the men’s A category will have a dinner for two at their Aamari Restaurant while the men’s B and the female section champions will taste the luxurious cuisines at their Blue Savanna Food Court. 

“We are spicing-up this Lab chess competition at a cost of K120 000 and we are very proud to be associated with this sport,” he said.

Osman, who was the Cricket Union of Malawi chairperson from 2000 to 2006, could not promise much on their assistance towards chess saying that would be determined by the progress of their business.

While thanking the hotel for their kind gesture, Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) chairperson, Susan Namangale, said that the prizes that the hotel has offered to the winners of the competition will come on top of the usual K15 000 first prize in the men’s A category and the K10 000 in the other two sections.

Centre, North complete Lab chess reps' list
August 27 2010

Central Region Chess League (CRCL) and their Northern Region counterparts have completed the list of players that have qualified for the finals of the Lab Chess Championships following their qualifiers. Initially, the competition was contested for by players from the Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) but the Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) extented the competition to the other regions. 

At the Lilongwe Technical College, former champion Joseph Mwale and his elder brother George filled the forms for the Centre whereas Seko Soko and Wasoka Chirwa alongside Linda Jambo and Sharon Leno completed the list for the North at the Illala Crest Lodge in Mzuzu. According to Chessam publicist, Gilton Mkumbwa, the listed individuals are expected to battle it out against their SRCL counterparts during the finals at a yet to be identified venue early next month. "We are currently discussing with the sponsors on the right date and venue for the finals. But the finals will be conducted early September," Mkumbwa said. 

Bright Nthara, James Kamowa, Stanley Mpinganjira, Gerald Mphungu, Chiletso Chipanga, Joseph Chaiemba, Richard Chiona, Joseph Nyambalo, Edgar Khan and Makhosi Nyirenda qualified for the South three weeks ago. A chess player in the thick of things South's Festus Kayenda, Chimwemwe Manjankhosi, Bras ton Gondwe, Harry Namwera, Wongani Kondowe, Vincent Chafulumira, Richard Kondowe, Isaac Gondwe, Stanley Biyasi and Steve Chingondo would also compete in the contest's men's B category.

South identifies Lab chess reps
August 17 2010

The Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) has identified the individuals who have booked themselves places in the finals of the Lab Chess Championships after overcoming a tough competition from other 40 contenders at the College of Medicine (CoM).

Bright Nthara emerged on top of the two-day qualifiers in the men's A category with 4.5 points followed by James Kamowa, Stanley Mpinganjira, Gerald Mphungu and Chiletso Chipanga, who also accumulated 4.5 points each but were separated by Bucchol's' tie breaker. Joseph Chalemba (4), Richard Chiona (4), Joseph Nyambalo (4), Edgar Khan (3.5) and Mkhosi Nyirenda (3.5) completed the list of the players who are eligible for the finals in the first weekend of September.

But it was a terrible experience for some senior players including the former national champion Kajani Kaunda as he failed to qualify after finishing on position 12 with 3 points. In the men's B category, Festus Kayenda was at the summit with 5.5 points. He was followed by Chimwemwe Manjankhosi (4.5), Braston Gondwe (4.5), Harry Namwera (4), Wongani Kondowe (4), Vincent Chafulumira (4), Richard Kondowe (4), Isaac Gondwe (3.5), Stanley Biyasi (3.5) and Steve Chingondo (3). According to SRCL vice-chairperson Francis Banda, their counterparts in the Centre and North are expected to conduct their qualifiers by next week.


Chiona wins Lab championship
May 06 2010

Richard Chiona finally lifted the Lab Enterprise individual championship after collecting five points at Malawi College of Medicine. Chiona had tied on points with second-placed Alfred Chinthere to become the champion after arbiters used Buccholz tie break system. The Zomba based champion said he deserved the title after undergoing thorough preparations. "I have been chasing this championship for sometime.

It did not come on a silver platter. I struggled to reach this far," he said. Kajani Kaunda finished third ahead of Chiletso Chipanga.

Both players amassed four points each but they were also separated using Buccholz tie break. Defending champion Joseph Mwale finished eighth in a category that had 12 participants. In Section B, Harrison Nkhani won the title with five points while Sambo Sachus and Rodney Sinkonda finished second and third respectively. Ellen Mpinganjira retained the ladies championship with four points and Linda Jambo was second with three points. Caroline Mwale outscored Upile Pulaizi to finish third after tying at two points. Southern Region Chess League chairperson Susan Namangale said it was a historic competition.

"This is the first time that we had players from Northern region participating," she said. Namangale also encouraged individuals that failed to impress. "Perfection is never granted in mortal man," she said. Malawi National Council of Sports administration manager Henry Mereka paid tribute to Lab Enterprise for continued support. Mereka also thanked the body for involving players from other regions


8 reach Lab Enterprise finals
April 27 2010

Micheal Kulicheta won the first position as eight players qualified for the first edition of Lab Enterprise Individual Chess championship at Malawi College of Medicine on Saturday. Kulicheta posted five points to finish first ahead of Kajani Kaunda, who settled for second place with 4.5 points. Frazer Mkwaila finished third and was followed by Felix Khechi, Chiletso Chipanga, Rumbani Mkamanga, James Kamowa and Francis Banda on fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth positions respectively.

In category B, McLee Kumpita scored five points to emerge top with Vincent Chafulumira finishing second after collecting 4.5 points. Harrison Nkhani occupied third position with four points while Biyasi, Cliff Chinyama, John Mkumba, Alexander Linzi, Sachus Sambo, Rodney Simkonda and Gift Chikalusa all qualified for the finals. Southern Region Chess League vice chairperson Francis Banda said the qualifying games were competitive as most players battled for long hours to win matches.

"The tournament also showed that players were games starved because of the off season," he said. Banda said women players were seeded to participate in the final. "All female players are being advised to prepare for the finals," he said. The quarterly Lab championship is worthy K500,000 which is split to cater for four tournaments


Lab chess qualifiers to be played
April 21 2010

Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) will accommodate players from the Northern Region in the new edition of Lab Enterprise Individual Chess Championship. The quarterly championship is expected to get underway on Saturday. SRCL chairperson Susan Namangale said they decided to extended invitation to the North to allow players from the area to benefit from Lab's sponsorship.

Previously, the committee was only accommodating players from Central Region. "Top two men players from the Northern and Central regions would be allowed to compete in the Lab finals. We will also invite a top female player from the two respective regions to take part in the finals," she said. Namangale said the new set up was a move to develop the sport across the country. "You must bear in mind that the sponsorship caters for the Southern Region alone. However, we decided to invite players from other regions to make the games competitive," she said.

Namangale said the committee has also hiked the registration fee from K250 to K400 because of rise in accommodation costs. Meanwhile, the chairperson said the region's qualifying games for Lab Enterprise first edition will take place at Malawi College of Medicine on Saturday. "As usual only men will compete in category A and B to reach the finals whereas women would not play qualifying games," she said. Lab Enterprise has been sponsoring chess since 2007 and the current sponsorship is worthy K500,000. The amount is split into four divisions to cater for four tournaments per year The firm's executive director Noel Lipipa promised continued support.


SRCL extends Lab Invitation to North
April 21 2010

After a break, this year's first edition of the prestigious Southern Region Lab Individual Chess Championship qualifiers will be back to action this Saturday at College of Medicine (CoM) in Blantyre. Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) chairperson Susan Namangale said, as usual, the competition will be divided into Men's A, Men's B and the Women's categories.

She said the Central Region contingent, which will be selected during qualifying games to take place in Lilongwe soon, will meet the Southern Region team in the Men's A category to fight for honours in the finals. She added that the registration fee for each player wishing to join the race has been increased from K250 to K400. "We are now living in a world where the price of everything is going up. We tried our best not to raise the registration fee but we could not manage to cope with the situation," Namangale said. During the prize presentation ceremony of the last edition at Malawi Sun Hotel in Blantyre, Lab Enterprise managing director Noel Lipipa said they will continue sponsoring the quarterly competition saying the sponsorship will remain at K500 000 per year.

Currently, the Lilongwe-based chess whizz-kid Joseph Mwale is the defending champion in the Men's A category while Mayamiko Pemba and Ellen Mpinganjira are defending champions in the Men's B and Women's categories respectively.

Mwale family conquers Lab Chess
February 02 2010

CHESS Association of Malawi (Chessam) honorary president Ackim Mwale has all the reasons to celebrate after his children dominated the fourth edition of Lab Enterprise Individual championship at Malawi Sun Hotel. Mwale's youngest child Joseph, 15, retained the championship for the third successive time after collecting five points while his elder brother Chuma finished second with 4.5 points.

George Mwale, 17, then sealed the top three positions after amassing four points. Joseph said the Lab championship was a consolation after failing to impress in the national team qualifiers recently. "It was awful to fail to make it into the national team squad for World Chess Olympiad. However, I can still afford to smile because I have defended this championship for the third time in a row," he said.

In Category B, fast improving Mayamiko Pemba lifted the championship with five points and he was followed by Vicus Mhango and Emmanuel Kalua on second and third positions respectively. Ellen Mpinganjira won the ladies championship with six points while Carol Mwale, sister to the deadly brothers, finished second with 4.5 points. Vitumbiko Gondwe also collected five points but she finished on third position after arbiters used buchholz tie breaker.

Southern Region Chess League chairperson Susan Namangale and Chessam vice president Mark , Chikoko thanked Lab Enterprise for supporting the league since 2007. "Lab Enterprise has demonstrated great commitment in the sport. Chess tournaments are now participated and enjoyed by a 1 diverse age group," Namangale said. Lab Enterprise executive director Noel Lipipa promised continued support. "I have both good and bad news. The good news is that we will continue supporting the tournament.

And tie bad news is that we will not' increase the sponsorship because Lab did not fair well on the market last year," he said. Deputy minister of youth development and sports Billy Kaunda, who become the first minister to grace Lab finals, urged chess officials to identify young players from schools. Kaunda while thanking Lab for the sponsorship, he also appealed to the corporate world to partner government in developing sports. Meanwhile, SRCL has become the first chess body to go on line. Kaunda officially launched the body's website; www.southmalawichess.com. Namangale said the website will help them to develop the sport.




Mwale brothers in Lab chess finals
January 28 2010

Three Mwale brothers Chuma, Joseph and George are among the four chess players that have qualified to represent Lilongwe during the Southern Region Chess League's (SRCL) Lab Chess Championship finals at the College of Medicine (CoM).

The three brothers alongside Khama Chindole made it into the final stage of the competition's fourth edition after outclassing over 20 participants during the qualifying games at the Lilongwe Technical College.

Since last year, Mwale brothers Chuma and Joseph have been winning the championship interchangeably. "I am ready to conquer the South again. I have left no stone unturned in rny bid to keep the title," said Joseph, who is the defending champion.

The four Central Region chess players will join eight Southern Region eligible contestants Francis Banda, Mailosi Msikiimodzi, candidate master Joseph Chalemba, Michael Kulucheta, James Kamowa, Makhosi Nyirenda, Gift Machemba and Gilton Mkumbwa, in category A of the championships. In the competition's category B, the battle for honours will be among Samuel Kalua, Mayamiko Pemba, Stanley Biyasi, Vicus Mhango, Solomon Manda, Duncan Manda, John Mkumba, James Chimwere, Sachazi Sambo and Cliff Chinyama.


16 qualify for Lab finals
October 23 2009

SIXTEEN individuals have qualified for next november's Lab Enterprise Southern Region Chess League individual championship after impressing in the qualifiers at College of Medicine.

Former Lab champion James Kamowa emerged top in the Open category after scoring four points while second-placed Richard Chiona also amassed the same points. Rising Joseph Jere collected four points to finish third. The three were separated by Bucholz tie breakd. Kamowa said he harboured an ambition of winning the championship.

Chiletso Chipanga, Zengani Mkandawire, Francis Banda, Gilton Mkumbwa and Gift Machemba have also qualified. Chancellor college student Steve Nkhoma shone in category B of the championship after scoring 4.5 points to finish top. Brian Chonde finished second while Chandler Sesani came third.

The two scored four points each and they were separated by tie breaker. Raymond Chitedze, Simkonda, Steples Jere, John Nkumba, Blaston Gondwe and Charles Mbale also qualified for the finals. SRCL chairman Wesley Mankhomwa said they were excited with the performance. "The winners had to Struggle to qualify," he said.

Mankhomwa said girls did not take part in the qualifiers because they were seeded. "They will compete in the finals, which are scheduled for early next month." he said.


Battle for Lab chess finals
October 16 2009

Sixty players stand to participate in the Lab Enterprise chess league individual championship Southern Region qualifiers at the College of Medicine in Blantyre this mid October 2009.
Southern Region Chess League publicity secretary Gilton Mkumbwa said only eight players would reach the finals.

“We expect a tough battle as you can see 60 players contesting for eight places. It won’t be easy,” he said.

 The Central Region has already held the qualifiers which saw reigning champion Joseph Mwale emerging the winner.

 Others that sailed into the finals in the central region are Goodwell Manda, Davie Malango and Ackim Mwale. The finals are expected to take place later this month.

 Joseph is the favourite to win the title as his strongest contender Chuma Mwale would not be available.

 Chuma, who is Joseph’s brother, is sitting for 2009 Malawi School’s Certificate of Education Examinations.
 Other favourites at the competition include former champion James Kamowa and Kajani Kaunda.

 However, the duo; would need to pass through the qualifiers before dreaming of outclassing Joseph.

 The champion would pocket K120, 000 with the runner-up getting K7, 500 and the third positioned player would receive K5, 000.

 Lab Enterprise has been sponsoring the tournament for the past three years.

 On a similar note Chess Association of Malawi (CHESSAM) has suspended all its international programmes for the rest of the government financial year, opting to use the K4million allocated to it by Sports Council for internal programmes.

 Chessam publicity secretary Gilton Nkumbwa said the decision to suspend the international programmes was made at the association in Blantyre.

 “We got official communication from Council September that we would be allocated K4million this year. The amount is far below the K12million budget we submitted, meaning we have to do a review of all the proggrammes we have.

 “The council also advised us to prioritize development programmes over international participation. We saw a lot of wisdom in the council’s advice because if we participated in just one international competition, we will end up blowing, the whole amount,” said Mkumbwa.
 In light of the developments, Mkumbwa said the chess body would concentrate on local programmes like review of the body’s statutes, strengthening of regional structures, establishment of schools chess structures, purchase of chess equipment, training of young players and holding of local tournaments to groom the youngsters and identify fresh talent.
He said after fulfilling the local programmes, the body would identify strong male and female players expected to represent the country at the next year’s World Chess Olympiad scheduled for Russia in September 2010.

“Our plan is to send both s men and ladies’ teams at the Olympiad and we want to compete favourably against top teams other thanks just participating,” Nkumbwa.

Among the international programmes the body will forgo in 2009 include the Commonwealth Chess championship slated for Malaysia in December and the Africa Junior Chess championship slated for Cairo, Egypt in December 2009 or January 2010.

In August 2009  Chessam failed to participate at the Africa Individual Chess championship in Tripoli, Libya due to visa complications.

The hosts claimed they were given short notice by Chessam to process visas for Malawian representative Mwale and Richard Chiona.

Noh wins Lab Enterprise ball pool
August 5 2009

Korean Yong Noh conquered a field of 35 golfers to emerge champion of the maiden Lab Enterprise Wednesday ball pool at Blantyre Sports Club. With a splendid score of 20 points, Noh stood head and shoulders above the rest and got a driver as his prize. But the most enduring moment was not his classic performance on the course but rather the prize presentation ceremony.

Noh, who speaks English with great difficulty, sent the turnout into stitches of laughter when he was asked to make a victory speech. He took a long breath, looked around as if at a loss of words and then simply said: "Thank you!....Thank you very much!" He then rushed back to his seat. With a score of 19 points counted in was Robert Coombes who got a golf cover bag while Bardon Mbera came third and got a putter. Sope Kaira came fourth and received a wall clock while Kingsley Chimdima-Mhango was fifth on 18 points. He got a lobwedge—an iron golf club known for being the shortest-hitting wedge. Lab Enterprise managing director Noel Lipipa said his company decided to sponsor the tournament as one way of marketing its business.

Lab Enterprises deals in supply of laboratory and hospital equipment. "We also thought it wise to bring the golfers together as is the culture every Wednesday," said Lipipa, He also said Lab Enterprise is planning to host a major tournament in October.

Lab impressed with chess competition
August 4 2009

Lab Enterprises Limited says people fail to defend the Lab Southern Region Chess League A Division Championship because of stiff competition, which the sponsors are proud of. The company's managing director Noel Lipipa said this in reaction to the results of the second edition of the competition which produced a new winner. Since the competition was launched in 2005, only James Kamowa has defended it once in the men's category while the other 15 winners have failed to defend the title.

Lilongwe-based Chuma Mwale failed to defend the championship which was won by his young brother Joseph. "This shows how tough and competitive this trqphy is and that is what enhances development of the sport which is our aim as sponsors. "Some competitions have been dominated by some individuals for a long time but this one is unique and we are proud to be associated with the league," said Lipipa.

Mwale won the tournament with five points while Kajani Kaunda came second with 4.5 points while Kamowa finished third. Gift Machemba retained the B category followed by Steven Khota while Wesley Mankhomwa finished third. Ndawonga Mwale won the ladies category and her runner up was Patricia Chihana while Vitumbiko Gondwe finished third.

According to SRCL publicity secretary Gilton Mkumbwa, the third edition will be played in September. The Lab competition is sponsored to the tune of K500 000 and is played in four editions.

Kaunda takes sole lead in Lab tourney
July 21 2009

The second edition of Lab Enterprises chess qualifiers started on a high note with Kajani Kaunda leading the First Division with three points, Kaunda defeated top player Stanley Mtuwa. He leads the 10-member division. He is followed by Sam Nkhwazi and James Kamowa on positions two and three respectively.

Peter Jailosi is fourth with two points and positions five to 10 are occupied by Stanley Mtuwa, Zengani Mkandawire, Chiletso Chipanga, Jack Chione, Mankhosi Nyirenda and Charles Chiwaya. They all have two points each. Kaunda faces a tricky fourth round fixture against former champion James Kamowa.

In the B Section, Wesley Mankhomwa, the chairperson of the league, is leading with three points while Gift Machemba, Steve Khota and Peter Khonde are tied on 2.5 points, Goodwin Ulaya, Brian Chionda, Steve Chingondo, Mayamiko Pemba and Handsome M'bwana tied on 2 points while Stapples Jere is on 10th position with 1.5 points.

The last three rounds will be played on July 25, 2009 at College of Medicine where the best 10 players will make it to the finals of each section


Chuma wins Lab Chess
June 04 2009

The world seemed cruel for Lilongwe based 15-year-old chess whiz kid, Joseph Mwale on May 31 at Blantyre Sports Club, as he lost grip of his lead in the Lab Enterprise Southern Region individual chess championship's first edition finals to slip to eighth position with 2.5 points. But all was not cloudy for the Lilongwe-based chess contingent as Joseph's elder brother, Chuma, who was on the third position during the qualifiers a fortnight ago, managed to rise above nine Southern Region chess giants and win the category A of the championship with five points. Former national champion James Kamowa, who failed to impress during the last edition of the competition last year due to ill health, bounced back into the limelight to become a runner-up with 4.5 points, the same as third-placed candidate grandmaster Chiletso Chipanga but were separated by Bunchh's tile breaker.

Current national champion Richard Chiona lost a little bit of steam in the competition to claim fourth position with 3.5 points while long forgotten national player Fiskani Mwagomba who represented the country at various international competitions, including the German championships three years ago, resurfaced to grab the fifth position with 3 points. Apart from that, it was disaster for last years' first edition champion Michael Kulucheta and 2008 final edition's runner-up Dr. Francis Banda, after respectively limping to 7th and 10th positions with 2.5 points and none. "I knew I was in the lion's den and I had to fight tooth and nail to come out victorious. I have been winning various championships in the past but the fall of the Southern Region chess heavyweights will always make me proud and satisfied even if I decide to retire today," said Chuma.

The 19-year-old Form 4 sttident at Bwaila Secondary School has been champion of various chess competitions, including the 2007 national championship and the Central Region chess league last year. In the men's B category, it was Aggrey Mphepo who carried the day for the first time after participating in the "competition since Lab quarterly champion's inception in 2007 while Peter Jailosi and Lester Matewere came second and third, respectively. Ndaonga Mwale, runner-up in the ladies category last year, came tops after leading the 8-member section with five points followed by second-placed Upile Pulaizi and third-positioned Vitumbiko Gondwe, who accumulated 4 and 2.5 points, respectively.

During prize presentation, SRCL chairperson Wesley Mankhomwa thanked the sponsors for helping to uplift the sport while Malawi National Council of Sports administration manager Henry Mereka urged more companies to come in and support government's agenda of promoting the development of all kinds of sports in the country.

Lab Enterprises representative Friday Nhlane said his- organisation will continue to be associated with the mental sport in the country. "The country need wise individuals for development and we are proud to be associated with intellectual minds. We promise that we will continue with our support," he said.


Women shy away from Lab chess championship
May 31 2009

The low turn-out of ladies during the qualifying games of the K500 000 Southern Region Lab Enterprise Individual Chess Championships' new season on Saturday at the College of Medicine (CoM) in Blantyre, signifies women's reluctance to play the sport, observers have said.

The competition has three categories; ladies, and men's A and B divisions. Ten players are required to qualify for the final games in each category but only four ladies; Ndaonga Mwale, Upile Pulaizi, Tumpale Mhango and Jacqueline Chimangafisi, showed up for (he event. The men's divisions had over 56 participants.

Last week, the sponsors challenged women to join the sport and offer stiff competition to Ellen Mpinganjira, who has been ladies' champion since the inception of the contest in 2007. Mpinganjira, who was absent on the first day of the qualifiers due to personal commitments has since warned that she will soon be contesting in the men's category if no female challenger comes in to give her a run for her money. Southern Region Chess League general secretary Gilton Mkumbwa, said: "I feel women have an inferiority complex about this mental game. They always think it is only men who can excel in the sport. "However, all the four girls that have turned-out for the qualifiers have made it into the finals. We will also incorporate six more ladies that will attend the final matches to patch-up the requisite number of players in the category," he said.

One of the present female players at the tournament, Ndaonga Mwale, who was the runner-up last season, said many ladies are shy to participate in chess competitions due lack of training equipment. "It is difficult for more ladies to get attracted to the sport or practice the game with men in the locations due to stigma. We need to be provided with chess facilities so that we can entice friends to join the sport," Mwale said.



Lab Enterprises bounces back
May 20 2009

The Lab Enterprise Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) individual championship will be re-launched on Saturday at College of Medicine ending speculations that the sponsorship was withdrawn. The quarterly championship was supposed to start in February but it failed because the sponsors were sorting out logistical issues. SRCL publicity secretary Gilton Mkumbwa said they were relieved that the competition would start this weekend. "We were under pressure because of the uncertainty that surrounded the championship. Players were inquiring on when the competition would start," Mkumbwa said.

He said qualifying games would begin soon after re-launching the K500.000 championship. "We will hold a two-day qualifying tournament to select top 10 players from each of the three categories," he said

The Lab championship is competed for in open, ladies and category B. Mkumbwa said players would play three rounds of Swiss pairing each day. "The qualifying games will be played using classical chess time control that requires an individual to make at least 20 moves in one hour," he said. The publicity secretary said the sport had developed since the introduction of the competition in 2007.

Currently Joseph Nyambalo is the defending champion in open category while Ellyn Mpinganjira is the ladies defending champion. Innocent Bamusi is the champion for category B. Lab Enterprise executive director Noel Lipipa said they were committed to the development of the sport. "We are re-launching the championship to reaffirm our commitment to the development of the sport," he said. Lipipa thanked chess players, officials and fans for supporting them. "Even though we delayed in announcing this year's sponsorship they never came to pressurise us. They understood our situation and they had patience," he said.

(Local Newspaper)

Lab Ladies champion wants more challenges
(The Nation Newspaper) - January 26 2009

Lab Enterprise ladies chess champion Ellen Mpinganjira has expressed interest to participate in men's category. Mpinganjira said the move would help her to improve. "I think it is time to move forward. I have competed in ladies category for sometime. I need to face new challenges to improve my performance," she said.

The three times champion said she was winning most of the games in her category without much fighting. "There are some good players in the category, but in most cases I win without sweating," she said. "I need to play against tougher opponents to be made to think hard." Mpinganjira, who never lost a game in the championship, could have won the title four times but she failed because she did not participate in one event.

She also said the move would also encourage her female players to challenge their male counterparts. She cited South Africa's Mellisa Greef, who sometimes compete in men's category during international when Malawi hosted the event," she said.

Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) publicity secretary Gilton Mkumbwa said they would consider Mpinganjira's request. "Obviously it is a good idea because she will be exposed to a more competitive category," he said.

Mkumbwa said if the move would materialise Mpinganjira would become the second female to compete in category B. Currently veteran Seliana Sanga also competes in category B, which is the second toughest after category A.


Kamowa wins another Lab title
(The Nation Newspaper) - September 17 2008

James Kamowa is the first player to win the third edition of the Lab Enterprise Individual chess championship for the third time.

The former national champion collected five points during the two day championship that started at College of Medicine on Saturday before ending on Sunday at Sun Bird Mount Soche Hotel.

"It was not easy but 1 had a goal in mind. I am delighted with the achievement," the category A champion said.

Kamowa also paid tribute to the sponsors Lab Enterprise saying their sponsorship was helping in promoting the sport.

Mankhosi Nyirenda ended on second with 3.5 points while Lembani Undi finished third with three points.

The top three players went away with prize money and trophies.

In Category B Joseph Nyambalo won the championship with 4.5 points and was followed by Joe Soka and Viva Mpighu on second and third respectively. The two got 3.5 points each but they were separated by Buccholz tie break.

Ellyn Mpinganjira reclaimed her title in ladies category after amassing four points while Tapiwa Kacheche with three points ended second. Tumpale Mhango finished on third position with 2.5 points.

Southern Region Chess League chairman Wesley Mankhoma described the quarterly championship as competitive.

"During the qualifiers we saw the fall of notable chess players. This shows that chess is improving in ournegion,"he said.

The chairman also promised the sponsors to be transparent and accountable in the way they run the league.

"They promised us that with good management they will maintain and increase the sponsorship. So we will continue running the league inline with the constitution," Mankhoma said.

Malawi National Council of Sports administration manager Henry Mereka noted that chess was one of the sporting disciplines that are developing impressively. Southern Region Women in Sports official Emmie Mphande and Chess Association of Malawi treasurer Joseph Chalemba encouraged women to take up the sport seriously.

Lab Enterprise official Rriday Mtali said they were pleased with developments.

"We are particularly impressed with the number of ladies that are participating in the competition. During the first edition we had about four ladies and the other time we had seven. This time there were 12 of them. We commend the authorities lor making efforts to enable ladies to participate in large numbers," he said



Big Guns fail to qualify in Lab Chess League
BY Kandani Ngwira( The Daily Times Newspaper) - August 26 2008

Big guns failed to qualify in the preliminary rounds of the third edition of the K500, 000 Lab Enterprise Individual Chess championship.

Michael Kulichika, who won the June edition, failed to make it to the next round. Other big names who failed to survive the heat are Richard Chiwona, Frazer Mkwaila and Joseph Chalemba.

The qualifiers which attracted 70 players took place at College of Medicine at the weekend. The qualifiers had three categories in which ten players qualified in each after playing five games.

In Division A which comprise of mature chess players Makhosi Nyirenda and Stanley Mtuwa came first and second wifh four points each. Chiletso Chipanga came third with three and half points.

Other players who qualified in this category are: Rumbani Mkamanga James Kamowa, Andrew Chalemba, Francis Banda, Steve Mpighu, Lembani Undi and Jere.

In division B which comprises of Chess beginners Mayamiko Pemba came first with four and half points. Joseph Nyarnbilo finished second but with similar number of points. Allan Malimbana finished fourth with four points.

Also qualifying in this category are: Gift Machemba, Stanley Bisani, Joe Soka, Richard Bwanali, Dennis Gwetsere, Viva Mpighu and Me Pherry Kuntembwe.

In the ladies category Ndawonga Mwale came first wilh five points, Tapiwa Kacheche finished second with three points and Vitumbiko Gondwe on third with three points as well.

Other names that qualified in the ladies category are Patricia Chihana, Tumpale Mhango, Jennifer Kaludzu, Karen Chikwita, Upile Puliizi, Ellen Mpinganjira and Chikondi Mwapasa.

Secretary for the southern region chess league Gilton Mkumbwa said the finals will be played in Mid-September.

The first edition of the Lab Enterprise Chess Championship took place in April, the second in June and this is the third edition.

30 qualify for Lab Chess Final
(The Nation Newspaper) - August 26 2008

A total of 30 players have qualified for the third edition finals of the K500,000 Lab Entreprise Southern Region Chess League (SRCL).

The finalists earned their place in the finals after impressing in the final qualifiers held at College of Medine Lecture Theatre on Sunday.

The 30 players are for ladies and men's A and B categories. They will sort it out in finals scheduled for next month in Blantyre. Makhosi Nyirenda lead Category A with four points like runner-up Stanley Mtuwa, Chiletso Chipanga is on third place with 3.5 points, tying on points with fourth-placed Rumbani Mkamanga and James Kamowa on the fifth place.

The last five places are occupied by Andrew Chalemba with three points, Francis Banda with similar number of points on seventh position then Steve Mpighu (three points), Jere (2.5 points) then Lembani Undi also at 2.5 points.

With 4.5 points, Mayamiko Pemba tops category B tying on points with second-placed Joseph Nyambalo. The two are half a point ahead of Allan Malimbasa and fourth-positioned Gift Machemba. Stanley Biyasi came out fifth on 3.5 points.

Joe Soka, like seventh-ranked Richard Bwanali and Dennis Gwesere on ninth place also have 3.5 points. Viva Mpilu with three points is 10th.

Ndawona Mwale is the ladies' front runner with five points, two in front of second-placed Tapiwa Gondwe, Vitummko Gondwe and Patricia Chihana on the third and fourth places, respectively. Tumpale Mhaneo occupies fifth position with 2.5 points, half a point away from sixth-ranked Jennifer Kaludzu at two points at par with Karen Mhikwitaon position seven then eighth-placed Upile Pulaizi, Ellen Mpinganjira and Chikondi Mwapasa on the ninth and 10th places.

Speaking after the final qualifiers, SRCL publicist Gilton Mkumbwa described the level of competitiveness as high, saying each of the A and B categories attracted 30 plavers.


Chipanga leads in Lab Chess Tournament
BY MPHATSO MALIDADI( The Daily Times Newspaper) - August 16 2008

National junior chess champion Chiietso Chipanga has taken an early lead in the on-going Lab Enterprise Southern Region Chess League individual championship qualifiers.

Playing in Category A, which is regarded as the toughest, Chipanga collected two points on Saturday at College of Medicine to head the list of players likely to qualify for the finals of third edition of the quarterly championship.

The Zomba based youngster has vowed to qualify for the finals in his effort toreclaim the title, he once won during last years* championship.

Closely following Chipanga is Lumbani Mkamanga, who also got two points while former champion James Kamowa and Stanley Mtuwa finished on third and fourth positions respectively. The two also collected two points but they were separated by Buccholz tie break.

In Category B, Joe Soka also took an early lead after accumulating two points while Allan Malimbasa and Vlayamiko Pemba ended on second and third respectively with the same number of points.

Ndawoaga Mwale is also set to qualify for the finals after collecting the most points of the day in ladies category. Mwale got three points with second-placed Tapiwa Kacheche grabbing two points while defending champion Vitumbiko Gondwe and Patricia Chihana ended on third and fourth respectively.

Southern Region Chess League (SRCL) publicity secretary Gilton Mkumbwa described the turn up and performances of players as impressive.

"Over 50 players took part in the qualifiers. The exciting thing about the event was how the players displayed their intelligence during the games," Mkumbwa said.

"As the results indicate most individuals have collected the same number of points during the first two rounds of Swiss pairing. This shows that the competition was stiff."

The qualifiers will end on Saturday when top 10 players from each category will qualify for the finals of the K500,000 worth regional championship slated for September


Little known player shines in Lab 2nd Edition Chess league
BY MPHATSO MALIDADI( The Daily Times Newspaper)

The second edition of Lab Enterprise         Southern Region Chess League proved that the standards of chess in the region were progressing after unheralded   players    emerged champions in all the three categories. The most surprising upset happened in category A, which is the toughest, when Michael Kulicheta won the championship with four points.

Former champion Chiletso Chipanga finished second with the same number of points while Kajani Kaunda, who seem to have rediscovered his top form, ended third with three points.

In category B, Harry Namwera won the title with 4.5 points and was followed by Goodson Kapena on second and Bright Nthara on third positions after collecting four and three points respectively.

In ladies, category Vitumbiko Gondwe made the most of defending champion Ellyn Mpinganjira's absence to win the accolade ahead of second placed Ndawona Mwale and Upile Pulaizi, who ended third.

Kulicheta was delighted to have won his first major title.
"I have been playing active chess since 2004 and I have competed in numerous competitive tournaments here in Blantyre and Lilongwe as well," Kulicheta said. "But I was unfortunate because I was failing to win the championship on last attempt."

"This development marks a turn around in my fortunes and I believe that this is the beginning of more good things to come. I will try my best to defend the championship."

The Polytechnic first year student said he owed his victory to hard work.
"I was applying techniques which I read in chess books. I also imitated some grandmasters move and this gave me an edge over my counterparts.   Above   all   my concentration levels were high.

The ladies champion Vitumbiko Gondwe said she had to make the most of Mpinganjira's absence.

"The fact that Ellyn did not compete did not mean that I would get the championship on a silver platter," she said. "1 had to fight to win and I did that.

"I dedicate this medal to my father (Steve Gondwe), who always encourages me to take the sport seriously. He also makes sure that I participate in all the tournaments."

Chess Association of Malawi treasurer Joseph Chalemba said the competition was helping in the development of the sport.

"If the standards of chess are progressing in the country it is because of competitions like this one," he said. "At Chessam we are pleased with Lab's contribution towards the development of the sport."

Southern Region Women in Sports chairperson Emmie Mphande encourage women to take up the sport as it has the potential to increase their wisdom. "Those ladies that are participating in this sport are doing well at schools because chess is a game that requires analytical thinking.

"I want women especially girls to take up this sport because their home management skills would be enhanced as well," Mphande said. Malawi National Council of Sports administration manager Henry Mereka heaped praises on Lab Enterprise.

"Shortly Malawi will be sending a squad to participate at Olympiad games in Germany," he said. "We are delighted with Lab because their sponsorship would help us to build a strong national team."

Lab Enterprise representative Kennedy Kaponda said they were delighted with how the tournament was run and how players were performing.

"You will agree with me that the second edition of Lab has been very successful as no individual is dominating," he said. "This to us is a success and that is why we are motivated to stay with you.

"Lab Enterprise is proud to be associated with chess."



Lab League to inspire Women for Olympiad
BY MPHATSO MALIDADI( The Daily Times Newspaper)

CHESS Association of Malawi says the newly-introduced ladies category in the Lab Enterprise individual championship will help them to inspire women to form a formidable national team to participate at World Olympiad shortly.

Chessam vice-president Mark Chikoko made the remarks ahead of this year's Olympiad games that will be held in Germany in November.

Chikoko said Chessam was unable to send a women team to the championship due to the fact that they are not well exposed because of lack of competitions for ladies. "

The first time we participated in Olympiad games was two years ago but we only sent men," Chikoko said. "We were unable to send a women team because there were no competitions to assess and select national team women players. "

We could not just take ladies that were participating in junior competitions to the Olympiad because of lack of experience at national level."

Chikoko said the ladies category, which was won by Ellyn Mpinganjira on its inception, would help them to identify players for the national team.

"We want these ladies to represent their country as well. The introduction of this competition was very welcome move to the development of the sport in Malawi," he said.

Chikoko said the onus was now with ladies to prove their worth that they can compete at top level.

"I would like to encourage ladies to take this competition seriously because it will be one of the yardsticks used to select players for national assignments so that women should participate at Olympiad too," he said.

Chikoko asked other companies to sponsor chess at national level.

"The sponsorship should cover for women categories as well," he said.

Lab Enterprise Financial Director Friday Mtali said their firm was determined to develop the sport especially in ladies category where the standards are low.

"Ours is a noble gesture so that the sport should develop rapidly. We thought of introducing ladies category after Southern Region Chess League official asked us," he said.

Mtali said their sponsorship would stimulate women to join the sport.

Among the women that are participating in local tournaments are Vitumbiko Gondwe, Tumpale Mhango, Patricia Chihana, Chikondi Mwapasa, Carol Mwale, Susan Namangale and Royce Msiska.

SRCL Chairman Wesley Mankhoma said they would strive to have more ladies participating in the tournament so that the country should have better women players.

Malawi national chess squad consisting of Chiletso Chipanga, Joseph Chalemba, Fiskani Mwangomba, Chuma and Joseph Mwale would travel to Germany for the event.


The Lab Enterprises' Ladies Chess Category Hailed

Some female chess players have welomed the introduction of the ladies' category in this year's edition of Lab Enterprise Individual Open Chess championship which got underway on Saturday at the Institute of Technology and Management (Item) in Blantyre
One of the leading female chess player, Ellen Mpinganjira, said the previous system of mixing ladies with men disadvantaged the women.
She hoped the introduction of the ladies category would encourage more ladies to learn the fast-growing sport.
Mpinganjira topped die ladies category with Alex Maonga leading in section B and Lembani Undi dominating section A. They collected two points each.
The second leg of the competition will be held on April 12 to determine quarterly championship qualifiers.
Speaking when he officially marked the start of the games, Lab Enterprise financial controller Friday Mtali said they raised sponsorship from K400.000 to K500,000 to help the sport grow.
"We have also responded to a request by the Southern Region Chess League to introduce the ladies category, a departure from the old set up when the league has been an all-male affair," Mtali said.
"In the meantime, Lab Enterprise is also exploring other avenues to improve the game. We believe injecting incentives would be one other way of motivating players." Malawi National Council of Sports' administration manager Henry Mereka graced the occassion which attracted over 20 players and officials.

The Lab Enterprises Southern Region Chess League 2007

Winner of the Lab Enterprises Southern Region Chess League,
Kajani Kaunda

Runner Up, Henry Matewere

Third Place, Ulemu Chiluzi

Aspiring Grand Masters

Lab Enterprises Managing Director,
Noel Lipipa

During the Contest

Donation of Hospital Equipment

Lab Enterprises donated hospital equipment to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital valued at
MK 1,055,000. The consignment included 1000 Pairs of Sterile Surgical Gloves, 100 Boxes of disposable examination gloves and 100 gauze rolls.

Below is a gallery of the event.



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