2014 National champion Fidemaster Andrew Kayonde says Zambia has great talent in chess but requires more exposure.
“Zambia has many talented players but more exposure is needed if we are to close in on the performance gap,” Kayonde said.
“The [Africa Individual Chess Championships were] very competitive and an eye-opener that Zambia, despite not winning the event, is among the strongest in Africa. We have great potential to win the event next year, provided that CFZ creates an environment that allows the top players to train adequately.”
He said having had a great year, he was looking forward to 2015.
“I intend to start 2015 by defending my national championship title in February. Thereafter, I shall participate in the Zonal Championships (Malawi), Steinitz Open (South Africa), African Individual (Egypt) and All Africa Games (Congo). Participation in the African Club Championship (South Africa) will depend on whether Nkwazi Chess Club will sponsor players for the event. If it does, I will be happy to play,” he said.
Kayonde was the best performing Zambian in the open section of the just-ended Africa Individual Chess in Namibia.
He was ranked sixth at the tournament, ahead of compatriots International Master Daniel Jere, IM Stanley Chumfwa and FM Richmond Phiri.
On failing to upgrade his title to International Master or even Grand Master, Kayonde said he was working towards that.