A record 16 African Federations took part in the African youth Chess championships which were held in Windhoek, Namibia. Christmas came early for many federations’ participants in the event held between the 14-22 December 2019. The embattled South African junior team proved to be the best on the medals table scooping 3 gold medals, four silver and three bronze medals. The team was followed by Egypt, a perennial dominant force in African chess who also had three gold medals, two silver medals and two bronze medals. In third position was Algeria who had two gold medals and four silver medals.
Zambia had one gold medal and one silver medal. Botswana had one gold medal and three bronze medals, while Angola had one gold medal and three bronze medals.
Namibia’s gold medal was courtesy of Dante Beukes, the former FIDE Master who played in the under 18 category though he qualified to play in the under 16 category. His attacking prowess earned him the first Namibian International Master Title. A very proud achievement for him and his country.
Madagascar also had a silver medal while Nigeria had one bronze medal. Nine out of the 16 countries took some medals which shows that the level of competition was very stiff. The distribution of the medals was somewhat proportional, showing that the level of competition has improved. The Egyptians have always dominated these competitions since their inception.
WCM Refilwe Gabatshwarwe of Botswana won a gold medal in the under 14 category. Under 10 Laone Moshoboro won a bronze medal for the nation of Botswana, Woman FIDE Master Besa Masaiti won a bronze medal in the under 18 girls category.
The last player to win a medal was the only boy who was an additional player for the under 14 Open category Musa Munyere also of the Francis Town School of Chess. For the Zimbabwean chess community the team failed to scoop a single medal. WCM Rumbidzai Mawire finished fourth while the young Jordan Gweshe finished tied fifth in the under 8 boys category.
Two hundred and fifty participants took part in this edition of the African Youth Chess Championships. The age groups that took part were all the way from under 08 Open which had twenty participants, Under 08 Girls had twenty participants, Under 10 Open had 25 participants, under 12 Open 35 participants, under 12 Girls 25 participants, under 14 Open 23 participants, under 14 Girls 17 participants, under 16 Open 21 participants, under 16 girls 13 participants, under 18 Open 22 participants while the under 18 Girls had 13 participants.
The Namibian Chess Federation organizing team put up a splendid performance as they managed to host the biggest ever Africa Chess Championships which had a house full of players from the 16 federations.
The event was a nine round Swiss with 90 minutes plus 30 seconds increment per move. The tournament produced a lot of pulsating games from round one to the final round. Of note were the young girls who played in the under 18 girls category who played above heir age group and these include the young Zimbabwean WFM elect Refiloe Hazel Mudodo, WFM Naledi Marape were but some notable names of the African ladies’ future Champions.
There was fire on the checkered boards as the competitions got stiffer and stiffer with the progression of each by round. The winners in each age group will be awarded personal rights to partake in the 2020 World Youth and Cadet Chess Championships which will take part in Mamaia, Romania, from the 7th-20th of September 2020, while the Cadet Chess Championships will be held in Batumi Georgia from the 18th-31st of October, 2020.
Medals were awarded to the winners in each category and these are as follows:
Under 08 Open
George Samir David of Egypt won a gold medal with a perfect score.
Hossam Mohamed Adham Egypt -Silver medal with 7 points
Moonsammy Ethan Ryan South Africa – bronze medal with 7 points.
Under 08 Girls category
Naidoo Kajol -South Africa 7.5 points gold medal
Budhram Kaylee South Africa 6.5 points silver medal.
Miya Minentel Tshegofatso , South Africa 6.5 points.
Under ten open
George Michael Kabry Mina 6.5points- Egypt.
Oudina Mohamed 7 points -Algeria
Wael Sabry Mina Egypt, 6.5 points Bronze medal
Under ten Girls
Zerarga Imene 8 points , Algeria Gold medal
Romae medal.7.5 points Egypt- Silver medal
WCM Moshoboro Phoebe 7 points, Botswana bronze
Under 12 Open
Simpson Michael 9 points South Africa , Gold medal
Palmer Reegan 6.5 point, South Africa Silver medal
Soojay Jorah 6.5 points South Africa bronze medal.
Under 12 Girls
Badenhorst Chloe 7 points , South Africa -Gold medal
Boshoma Chisomo 6.5 points South Africa- Silver medal
Paulo Jemima 6.5 points- Angola Bronze medal
Under 14 Open
CM Tamer Ahmed 8 points , Egypt gold medal.
Smir Devon 7 points , South Africa silver medal
Munyere Musa 6.5 points , Botswana- bronze medal
Under 14 Girls
WCM Refilwe Gabatshwarwe 6.5 points Botswana – Gold medal
Belatter Ines 6.5 points Algeria silver medal
Antonio Renelsa Taiane 6 points, Angola -bronze medal.
Under 16 Open
Emmanuel Mutuna 7.5 points , Zambia
Razanadrakotoarisoa Toavina 7.5 points Madagascar- Silver medal
Okeke Isaac 6.5 points Nigeria- bronze medal.
Under 16 Girls
WIM Nassr Lina 9 points Algeria- Gold medal
Boubendir Nesrine 7 points Algeria- Silver medal
Da Costa Olga 6 points Angola- Bronze medal
Under 18 Open
FM Beukes Dante M 7.5 points Namibia- Gold medal
FM Leffad Sammy 7.5 points -Algeria- silver medal
Fouad Mohamed 6.5 points Egypt- bronze medal
Under 18 Girls
WFM Junior Ednasia 8 points- Angola -Gold medal
WCM Bwalya Mulwale 6.5 points – Zambia- Silver medal
WFM Besa Masaiti 6 points- Botswana- Bronze medal.
The above is a comprehensive list of the players who won each and every category which took part in the AYCC in Windhoek, Namibia. The next edition of the African Youth Chess Championships will be held in Yaounde, Cameroun from the 4th -12th of July 2020.