The tournament which comprised of both students and non-students attracted a total of 32 participants of whom five were females THE University of Zambia (UNZA) recently hosted the inaugural UNZA open chess tournament at the institution.
The tournament which comprised of both students and non-students attracted a total of 32 participants of whom five were females.
In an interview with the Lusaka Star, UNZA chess vice chairman Douglas Mwale said he was happy the institution hosted the first ever UNZA open chess tournament.
Mwale added that he was pleased with the outcome of the tournament and hoped that the new executive would continue hosting tournaments such as the UNZA open chess tournament in order to develop the sport.
“I am happy with the aftermath of the tournament and I hope that the new executive will pick it up from where they will leave it so that the sport can grow,” he said.
The Vice Chairman further added, “this tournament was a good training ground for the 3 participating females who play in the national team, in preparation for the world chess Olympiads which will be held later this year in Norway."
However, Mwale bemoaned the low participation of females at the tournament.
“The low turnout of females at this tournament and tournaments in general is worrying thus as an association we need to solve this issue,” he said.
Mwale also expressed sadness over the low funding for the tournament adding that the institution did not sponsor it.
“The funding for the tournament is low and we are mainly dependant on money from outside,” he said.
Mwale revealed that he tournament was sponsored by UNZA chess executive and Maybin Chinama, a student with a passion for chess.
"The money was also raised from the participation fees as students paid k30 while non-students paid k50 each," he explained.
Mwale further explained that the low turnout resulted in winner's prizes being re-adjusted from K1, 000 to K366 for the male and from K500 to K225 for the female.
Meanwhile,tournament director for the Chess Federation of Zambia (CFZ) Aaron Banda urged students to take part in chess adding that it would keep them away from bad vices.
“Students should take part in chess as it’s a good sport which requires one to be analytical and it would help them deepen their levels of analysis. Apart from that, it would also keep them away from bad vices such as alcohol and drug abuse,” he said.
The UNZA Open Chess tournament ended witth ties as Kabamba Bwalya and Linda Hamonga both drawing at 3points each, with the males Mwape William, Mwansa Webster and Tembo Osward tying at 5 points each.