Zambia stands as one of the African countries with an abundance of talent. In the 2010 Olympiad, the 121st-ranked team came in 47th! This was the federation’s brightest moment on the Olympiad stage and there was hope that this served as a breakthrough. However, the absence of GM Amon Simutowe for the past two Olympiads may have prevented an even better effort.
This year’s team will also be missing key components as top boards of men’s and women’s team will be absent. Besides Simutowe, IM Daniel Jere and Epah Tembo (recently married) will not be in Tromso, Norway for the Olympiad. Both played top board for the men’s and women’s team during the 2012 Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.IM Gillian Bwalya will also be absent from the team. According to CFZ general secretary Ntemena Bwalya, these players along with Yvonne Palatema missed the Olympiad qualifier.
Stanley Chumfwa led Zambia to a Category E gold medal in 2010 with 7½/10.
Photo by ugra-chess.com.
The team will make a stand with National Champion Andrew Kayonde and Olympiad veterans IM Stanley Chumfwa and IM Chitumbo Mwali leading the charge. Andrew Kayonde, who won the weekend competition held at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka won the recenly qualifier with 7/9 following by Chumfwa and Mwali on 6.5/9. Kelvin Chumfwa and Richmond Phiri round out the team and got 5.5/9 in the qualifier.
The women’s team will be lead by Yvonne Saina and Constance Mbatha (7/9) with Lorita Mwango (6.5), Linda Hamoonga (6.5), and Kabamba Mulwale (6/9) completing the side.
Main Story: Shamaoma Musonda, “Zambia: Chess Body Picks Squad,” Times of Zambia, 7 February 2014 (Lusaka, Zambia).