On a day when the boys are meant to be separated from the men, there were major upsets, which pulled back the men and showed that the boys are indeed doing the needful to stand amongst the men. The two (2) rounds that held on day three (3) of the Zone 4.4 Individual Chess Championships, were two (2) massive rounds, which ensured that nobody would go into the rest day with a perfect score.
The first game of the day was the 4th round of the tournament and it had some very scintillating games on the top boards, where the dream of a young man who started his chess playing career at the age of 10, and grew to be known in Nigeria as the “Young GM”, was dashed by an experienced and resurgent veteran, who has been in the game for a while, but never really created this opportunity for himself to go out of the shores of Nigeria and do exploits, but is well known in the country as “Papa”, on board 1.Abdulrahman Abdulraheem Akintoye (AAA)
The round also saw Abdulrahman Abdulraheem Akintoye (AAA) held, on his own account, as IM Balogun Oluwafemi recounted after the game, that “AAA” had the opportunity to win the game, but seemingly second guessed himself when he was meant to go for the kill. The upsets of the round are highlighted below.
OPEN SECTION UPSETS:The first major upset of the round was on board 3, where the in-form Akinwamide Oluwadamilare brought the gauntlet on the former Nigeria top seed, FM Kigigha Bomo, who seemingly underrated the prowess of the former and paid dearly for it.
A brilliant Lolomari George also showed strength, when he produced a positional masterclass to defeat the top seed of the tournament, IM Adu Oladapo, in superlative fashion on board 5. Ghana’s upcoming superstar, CM Joseph Jamena, also pulled out some superb prepared line against FM Onovughe Ochuko, in a game that ended quite faster than expected, considering the result.
On board 10, it was the man who inflicted the first loss of the tournament on the top seed, Onokpite Kennedy, who was dealt his second loss on the throttle, as he was made to rue missed chances against the Nigerian Police Force sponsored CM Atabor Job.
While, on board 14, Anhwere Bernard dealt a huge blow to the prospects of his countryman, FM Hashford Kojo, who would taking a rein check as to what is going on with him thus far in the tournament. On board 16, Winston-Onyiah Sasha, continued his rise to stardom, as he defeated the ever resilient FM Erhabor David in a coolly executed plan that would definitely see his initial rating sky high when it does come out in the first week of May.
FEMALE SECTION:With the Nigerian ladies fighting on the top boards, the top seed, WFM Ogbiyoyo Perpetual, continued her dominance, as she defeated Dzaayem Vivian in a fight for the top spot of the female section and the battle for the WIM title. Ofowino Toritsemuwa seemingly had a walk in the park, as she defeated Omimi-Okoro Brume, who is doing quite well at the tournament, considering the fact that this happens to be her first major tournament. Peace Samson got back to winning ways, as she defeated Charles Glory in a no holds barred manner. Ghana’s WFM Ayiku Angela has been the best performing lady of the tournament thus far, and she bounced back from her loss to Perpetual in the previous round to defeat WCM Magne Sylviane of Cameroon. Ghana’s trio of Benson Maud, WCM Felix Tobi and Dotse Dzidzor Esi, also ended the round victorious against their respective opponents.
As the first round of the day (4th of the tournament) was ongoing, the Ghana Chess Federation had an August visitor at the event, in the person of Retired DIG Sani Mohammed, mni, who popped in to say hello to federation executives (past and present) as well as the players. He was a former Nigerian Chess Federation President, former Zone 4.2 President and the one who fought for the creation of the Zone 4.4, and he was very pleased with the games he saw, because they were fighting chess from the top board to the last set of boards.
Round 5 was always going to be a huge fight for the players on the top boards, considering the fact that only one player went into the round on perfect score. This perfect score was not only halted by IM Balogun Oluwafemi, the IM handed a first defeat of the tournament to Ajibola Olanrewaju in a brilliantly calm fashion on board 1. Top 2 Boards Tugging at it!
While on board 2, FM Anwuli Daniel showed a glimpse of what everyone in Nigeria experienced a few years ago, when he achieved the highest rating ever for a Nigerian and defeated 2 Grandmasters in succession at not just one (1), but two (2) international event in Dubai and Millionaire Chess, as he dismantled the defenses of Abdulrahman in this round, and left the brilliant Nigerian wondering how he managed to get into such a terrible position, that he had to give his queen for a rook and a bishop, and then eventually lose the game.
The game of the round would be the pair of Ghanaians, IM Anquandah Francis and CM Joseph Jamena, who both took on CIV’s top two (2) players in FM Degondo Simplice and IM in view Manan Yoboue Hermann on board 6 and 7 respectively. While both Ghanaians were outrightly winning the positions in the endgame, they both surrendered their advantage, only to end with disappointing draws, but rating points gained albeit.
The major upsets of this round came from the lower boards of 15, 16 and 20, where, with over 300 rating points difference, CM Kolani-Banake Sopague of Cameroon earned a draw against CM Anthony Waylea Jnr from Liberia on board 15. Board 16 had Nigeria’s Adegbayi Oluwadara, with close to 500 rating points difference, lose to Ghana’s Akoto Nana Baffour, in a prepared line that the Nigeria underestimated and was handed major loss. And on board 20, with just over 300 rating points difference, the out of form FM Hashford Kojo, lost another game to the young and upcoming Aduamah David Kofi, which means the FM only has an early win and a draw from his five (5) games at the tournament.
It was a battle for supremacy between the top two (2) seeds on board 1, as the highest rated Nigerian female player WFM Ogbiyoyo Perpetual faced off against Nigeria’s best female player of the era, Ofowino Toritsemuwa, in a battle for the top spot going into the rest day. In a game that promised to be exciting, it took a space disadvantage and an understanding of the power of a centralized pawn-protected knight, for Toritse to pump and push and eventually convert the win, as she goes into the rest day on perfect score, and a point ahead of the pack.
Vivian Dzaayem and Peace Samson played out a fighting draw on board 2, with both players going for the jugular of the other, but had to settle for the truce. While Ghana’s WFM Ayiku Angela continued her resurgence, defeating Dotse Dzidzor Esi on board 3, to go into the break joint second on 4/5 points. Ghana’s Maud Benson picked up a very important morale booster victory, over Nigeria’s Omimi-Okoro Brume.
The break today would give some well needed rest to those that need it, allow some to prepare for their opponents extensively, give others the opportunity to see Ghana, among several other things, personally planned for the free day, today.
The pairings for Round 6 can be found in the links below.
All in all, Africa Chess says…..Be safe and have lots of fun as the GMs would.