Russian GM to drill Zambia Olympiads team

The desire to keep the winning flame burning has forced the Chess Federation of Zambia (CFZ) to consider engaging a Russian chess grand master to drill the country’s ten players set to compete at the 2012 World Chess Olympiads next week in Turkey.

Four top Russian chess grand masters have been lined up and the federation is negotiating for one of them to be attached to the team that leaves the country for Turkey on August 25 in time for the Olympiads that start on August 29.

CFZ tournament director  said the federation was keen on maintaining the country’s relatively good performance at the World chess stage hence the decision to engage chess experts to assist the players.

“We have been performing well since we first qualified for the Chess Olympiads and there is need to keep the momentum moving by attaching a chess expert to the team,” he said.

Top seed Daniel Jere will lead the team, which includes Stanely Chumfwa, Sidney Bwalya, Andrew Kabinde and Nase Lungu in the men category while the women line up has former CFZ vice president Joy Mtine, Constance Mbata, Lolita Mwango, Linda Hamoonga, and top women player Epah Tembo.

Zambia has been winning medals at the Olympiads since 1982 when Markus Thole brought home silver before celebrated grand master Amon Simutowe minted silver at the Turkey games in 2000.

“Zambia is currently ranked 47th in the World and we want to ensure that the players put up a good performance. We want to erase the poor results posted by the athletes who went to the London 2012 games,” Nsakanya said.

He said the federation would meet the costs of engaging an expatriate to train the team for the Olympiads and urged the players, who are currently training on their own at the various clubs to get down to serious business before flying out next week.