Petros Mfune on Saturday was the last man standing at the Central Region Chess League (CRCL) open tournament staged at Area 18 Lodge in Lilongwe.
Mfune pocketed K15 000 (about $44) after topping the chart with 6.5 points in the day-long tournament that attracted 23 players.
Mfune singled out games against Alfred Chimthere and Misheck Nyirenda as difficult ones during the campaign.
He said this was his first title in several attempts, and that it will inspire him to aim high.
“In the past, the highest position I finished was second. My message to my fellow players is that they should anticipate fireworks in the coming tournament,” said Mfune
He said he had been playing with experienced opponents across the world on Chess.com.
On his way to the top, Mfune won six games and drew once against Misheck Nyirenda in the last round.
Stanley Kafere emerged runner-up with 5 points. He received K10 000 (about $29).
Herbert Nanthambwe, who was voted player of the tournament, and Chuma Mwale tied on 5 points but finished on positions three and four respectively. They got K5 000 (about $14) and K4 000 (about $11).
CRCL chairperson Kafere said he was impressed with the turn-out of participants.
“We set the tournament to dust off rust in players as we have stayed long without chasing each other on the board. The other thing is that we want to coax well-wishers to sponsor our league,” said Kafere.
League publicity secretary Chimthere asked the corporate world to use chess, which is free of violence, to market their products.
The tournament, which was graced by Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president Kezzie Msukwa, was sponsored by the league to the tune of K65 000 (about $191).