By RONALD CHAWE –
FORMER Zambian women chess champion Constance Mbatha will lead a five-member Zambia team to the 2018 African Amateur Chess championship in Windhoek, Namibia.
The African amateur championships would run from December 31 to January 6 at Klein-Windhoek Guesthouse.
Chess Federation of Zambia (CFZ) president Mukubulo Chilufya said Mbatha would be part of three women in the team while Musatwe Simutowe would headline the two men in the team.
Women Fide Master (WFM) Mbatha would be competing in the under-2300 women category with the other two women in the team in Linah Mululu and Rose Zeko taking part in the under-1700 category.
Women Candidate Master (WCM) Linda Hamoonga pulled out due to work commitment.
Candidate Master (CM) Simutowe and Herris Chibale and would be featuring in men under-2300 Open and Under-2000 Open categories respectively.
The two are joined at the tournament by James Dimba (under-2300) and Stanley Banda (under-1700) who have entered in their as an individual capacity.
Chilufya said the federation expects the team to show a high level of competence and protect the country’s image by competing favourably.
“As a federation, we know the tournament is going to be tough but we expect the players to show what the continent expects from Zambia by putting up a gallant fight and protect the image of the country as one of the chess powerhouse in the region,” he said.
He said his team would continue exposing players at competitive tournaments and engaging of qualified coaches.
He said the federation would make deliberate programmes aimed at ensuring that the team gets enough tournaments.
The tournament would be the first one after the main team fluffed their lines at the 2018 World Olympiads in Batumi, Georgia.