THE Chess Federation of Zambia (CFZ) is scouting for K348, 000 to enable them send a team of eight players for the Individual Africa Chess Championships set for Nigeria next month.

Speaking in an interview, Thursday, CFZ president Mukubulo Chilufya said the association is confident that once funds are made available, the players selected will make the country proud by reaping medals.

Among the eight players selected to represent the country are International Master’s (IM) Mwali Chitumbo and Richmond Phiri while others are Fide Master Manesse Lungu and Timothy Phiri.

In the ladies category, Women Fide Master’s (WFM) Lorita Mwango, Constance Mbatha, Lubuto Mulwale Bwalya and Bertha Phiri.

“We are scouting for a sum of K 348,000 for [to] successfully send the eight players for the Individual Chess Championships to be held in Nigeria. We are still in talks with the corporate World with regards of meeting the budget. We have written to government and other stake holders soliciting for funds,” Chilufya said.

Chilufya said the performance of the team at the just ended chess Olympiads gives the association confidence that Zambia will win the championships.

“We expect nothing less than medals from the team looking at how we performed at the chess Olympiads. We urge the team to remain focused and aim at making the country proud. We believe that the players have what it takes to deliver positive results,” he said.

Meanwhile CFZ is looking for a sum of K458,000 to send the U-16 boys’ team to Abidjan for the junior championships.

Chilufya said the junior championships set to run from September 16-24 is a good platform for young chess players to showcase their talent.

“The boys are sharp and have that anger to play at international level. We want to ensure that they are adequately prepared. We believe that this will also accord the young boys a chance to get the needed exposure,” Chilufya said.

The CFZ president said the country is slowly becoming a hub of chess in the region and beyond.

He said his executive is working tirelessly to ensure the game of chess grows and is played in all provinces.

“Our target is to see Zambia grow into a hub of chess in the region and beyond. We want to see chess played in schools and many other places. We have seen the tremendous improvement in the game,” added Chilufya.