Zambia has been riding a wave of chess success in the past year. While not duplicating the team success of the 2010 Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansisyk, Zambian players have seen a number of individual accolades. There is now serious talk about Zambia getting its second Grandmaster after the legendary Amon Simutowe.
Stanley Chumfwa was finally awarded his International Master’s title earned in 2005 and his brother Kelvin Chumfwa just won the 2012 Botswana Open. The third consecutive year that a Zambezi player has won.
Upon returning from the Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, Zambia was charting a direction of progress. With native son Amon Simutowe having served as a trailblazer, there are others following his path. In fact, IM Daniel Jere and WCM Epah Tembo have followed Simutowe by winning the top award for individual sport. Simutowe won the award for the year 2000 when he was taking the chess world by storm.
Jere and Tembo, who are engaged, celebrated the awards. Tembo stated, “We are the best chess couple.” There are perhaps a dozen high-profile chess couples, but this is certainly a first for Zambia. Let us hope that sponsorship is forthcoming so that Zambia can turn copper to gold.