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African Chess Couples

by khisho

The first 10 lines of Susan Marr Spalding’s poem “Fate” also known as “Kismet” are hauntingly beautiful:

TWO shall be born the whole wide world apart;
And speak in different tongues, and have no thought
Each of the other’s being, and no heed;
And these o’er unknown seas to unknown lands
Shall cross, escaping wreck, defying death,  
And all unconsciously shape every act And bend each wandering step to this one end,— That, one day, out of darkness, they shall meet

And read life’s meaning in each other’s eyes. And two shall walk some narrow way of life


Everyone dreams of a fairytale wedding. A wedding where the couple lives together in peace and harmony. One such fantasy wedding can be that of chess players. Somebody once commented “In a chess marriage, squabbles would be sorted out on the chess board’’. Of course at international level we have had a few chess players that tied the knot with fellow chess players, like Danish Grandmaster Anish Giri and his wife, Woman Grandmaster Sopiko Guramishvili but do we have African chess players that tied the knot?

Here is a list of known African chess players that have married fellow chess players. If you know of any other African chess players from any country that are married, please give us their contact details, we must add them!


Richmond and Kabamba

Lusaka based Richmond Phiri and Kabamba Mulwale Bwalya married on 19th November , 2018 after dating since 2 September 2014.They say, chess connected them and it still bonds their family. They train and travel to tournaments together. They have a daughter together. Richmond is a network engineer while Kabamba is into sales and marketing. At his prime in 2015, IM Richmond qualified for the chess world Cup after winning the Zone 4.3 Chess Championship in Blantyre Malawi.

Mahlauli and Tloriso on their wedding day

FIDE Arbiter Mahlauli Manyeli and Tloriso Ts’epang Morienyane of Lesotho had a glamorous wedding on 29th April, 2018. They were also connected by chess. Mahlauli Manyeli is the only female qualified arbiter in Lesotho while Tloriso is the president of the Lesotho chess Federation. Apart from chess, Tloriso is a qualified Hydrologist while the wife is a qualified Sociologist.


Harare based Ruvarushe Moyo and Christine Makwena, both police officers, married on 8th July 2018 after dating since 2 January 2016. They say chess connected them, though they do not play a lot of chess at home due to busy schedules these days. ‘’We sometimes forget that we are chess players”, said Ruvarushe. Nevertheless, they oaccasionally take part in tournaments together.


Now based in USA, Daniel Jere and Epah Tembo are a formidable Zambian chess force. They married in 2013. As if by design, both of them won the Sportsman of the year awards in Zambia in 2012 in men’s and ladies categories respectively. They have also both represented Zambia at a number of Chess Olympiads. They have also passion for chess coaching.


Based in Lilongwe, Malawi, Khama Chindole and Carol Mwale married on 28th September 2013 after dating for 2 years. The former Chess Association of Malawi Treasurer General, Khama Chindole says they were connected by chess. Both of them Accountants, say the rarely train together because of busy schedules and family commitments. They are blessed with 2 kids. But, however they say they are committed to making the game a family dynasty. It makes sense as Carol comes from a renowned Malawian chess family. Her brothers Joseph, Chuma and George are chess household names in Malawi, while here dad, Ackim, is a respected chess veteran. On the other hand, Khama was Malawi’s junior Champion in 2005.


In Lagos Nigeria there is FM Adebayo Adegboyega and Doris who tied the knot in 2008 after dating since 2003. They also confess that they first met at a chess tournament in 2002, and chess has been a good glue binding them together. But they confessed that chess is sometimes an absorbing endeavor for a family. Adebayo works as a Geologist while Doris is a Computer Scientist.


Also in Lagos we have Abel Soyoye and Tega Enarevba who got married on 12 July 2014 after dating since July, 2010. It was a case of love at first sight when the two love birds first met at a National chess event in northern Nigeria. They have 2 sons together. Another interesting thing is that they are both into chess coaching. Abel coaches Ogun State chess team while Tega coaches the Delta State chess team. Abel has a FIDE Elo rating of 2069 and Tega has a rating of 1687.


Peter Jailosi and Lucy Chazemba had a traditional engagement in 2008. In a gambit fashion, it was actually Peter who introduced Lucy to chess before marrying her. They are blessed with 3 kids, including twins. They also travel to tournaments together. Their kids are also taking an interest in chess. Peter is a telecommunication engineer while Lucy is a business administrator.


According to Victor Chimbamu, this shows that even on the chequered board love can be ignited, and some can even get a life tie partner. Looking forward to seeing more chess weddings!

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Ajibade Olayemi February 20, 2019 - 2:23 pm

Chess brought them together, love Binds them forever.

Nice one.

Ajbaba February 20, 2019 - 4:55 pm

Interesting… Nice one kisho


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