Today, African countries participating at the 43rd Olympiad at Batumi, Georgia will resume hostilities after the break they had on Day 7 of the event which was yesterday.
The players are much rested and hoping to improve their lots on the standing.
Current Tournament Position: 24
Match Points: 8
They are the best performing Africa Team at the ongoing Olympiads. They entered the games as Africa highest ranked team and they have not disappointed.
On day 6, they edged out a higher rated Argentina Team on 2.5:1.5 to win the match point.
GM Bassem Amin and GM Adly Ahmed have been in superlative form.
Someone quipped that Adly hardly loses. In his last game against GM Peralta from Argentina, he mesmerized the 2569 rated GM with his Grunfeld defense to earn his win.
Egypt is the odd favorite to win in this match.
On Day 1, they crushed their Arabian neighbor Libya 3.5- 0.5.
They repeated this sterling performance on day 2 by Beating Paraguay 2.5-1.5.
Day 3 saw them submitting to the strength of Sweden as the lost 1.5-2.5.
This is their only loss so far. They However bounced back on Day 4 with another victory over Latvia with a 2.5-1.5 win. Day 5 saw them piping another South America opponent Argentina 2.5- 1.5. You may say that Egypt has perfected the strategy of ‘stealing’ their match point.
We hope they continue their good run today as they go toe to toe against Slovakia today.
Egypt is the odd favorite to win in this match.
Current Tournament Position: 36
Match Points: 7
On the second spot for Africa is Algeria. Another northern Africa chess playing country.
Their Teams highest rated player GM Bellachene , Bilel (2501) has been leading his team like a true War General!
Algeria won 4-0 against Guernsey on the opening day, crushed New Zealand 3-1 on day 2. They however lost to their mediterranean neighbor, France, on day 3 losing 0.5 -3.5.
They tried to bounce back on day 4 but were held to draw against Bangladesh with two draws and 1 win to end the match at 2:2.
But on Day 5, they edged out a higher rated Slovenia team.
The match was draw in all 3 boards until Belouadah Saad (2413) converted on Board 4 against Markoja Boris(2456) to hand them the match point.
Algeria will be playing Ireland today. They stand a good chance as they are slightly better rated than their opponent.
Team South Africa
Current Tournament Position: 54
The South African Team is filled with experienced Olympiad veterans.
However, they are still punching below their weights at this event.
In their first match, they whitewashed Haiti 4-0 but Slovenia dealt them a devastating blow on Day 2 as they lost 0-4.
On Day 3, they couldn’t rise past Kazakhstan as they lost 1.5-2.5.
They got a reprieve on Day 4 as they dispatched the lower rated Jamaica Team 3-1. This win is not the way they would have wanted as they were held to a draw on Board 2 and 3.
Wins from Board 1 played by IM Cawdery Daniel(2422) and Board 4 played by IM Van Den Heever(2227) was enough to give them the match point.
Day 5 saw them humbling Surinam 4-0 as expected.
Today, they will be playing against United Arab Emirates and anything short of the Match Point will be a disappointing result from Team South Africa.
Current Team Position:79
Team Zambia is well chosen. It is made up Olympiad Veteran IM Kayonde Andrew and other new Injection Including the Versatile Untitled Prince Daniel Mulenga (PDM) who only fancy the Grandmaster Title and is working towards it.
After an Impressive Draw secured by IM Andrew Kayonde popularly known as AK47 against Super GM Ivanchuk Vassily in round 1 where the team eventually lost, the IM has not been able to discover his true form that made him an household name in Africa.
We believe he will find his form today as they play against a decent Kygyzstan Team.
So far, Zambia lost 0.5-3.5 to Ukrainian in their opening day game.
They bounced back with a not too convincing win over Kenya the emerging Eastern Africa power house with a 2.5-1.5 win.
On Day 3, they survived the scare from the international Chess Committee of the Deaf ( ICCD) Team as wins from Munenga Douglas (2273) on board 2 and Mulenga Prince Daniel(2237) save the day for the Zambians.
They lost woefully to the strong Bosnia and Herzegovinia Team 0-4 on day 4.
They were rewarded with a favorable pairing on Day 5 against Maldives as they routed them 4-0.
They need to gain a match point against the Asian today to put them in good stead on the event standings.
Current Team Position: 80
Match Points: 6
The Kenyan are known worldwide for their long distance running but they have held their own at the 43rd Olympiad.
The relatively unannounced team are punching above their weight for a decent 5th position amongst the African teams.
They started their campaign on a losing note as they lost their first game to 0-4 to Montenegro in their first day.
On Day 2, they punched above their weight and were almost securing a draw against Zambia but the match ended 1.5-2.5 in Zambia’s favor.
The Kenyans picked up from there as they dislodged their fierce long distance race eastern Africa neighbor the Ethiopians on Day 3.
The game ended 2.5-1.5 for the kenyans to secure the Match point.
The Kenyans also won Team Malta 2.5-1.5 on Day 4.
There were served a soft Brunei on Day 5 and they went ahead to edge them out 2.5-1.5.
For their performance, they have even a tougher Colombian Team to play against today.
CM Ben Magana, the only titled player in the Kenyan Team has provided the much needed leadership for his team mates as he now has 3.5/5 in the event so far.
We wish all the African Teams the best today.