Preliminary Qualifiers Set to Challenge the Status Quo!
The preliminary stage of the Arab-Africa Online Individual Open Chess Championships 2021, kicked off at 4pm GMT yesterday.
It was a fierce battle that saw both Africans and Arabians jostle together for a semifinal qualification (male), and final qualification (female).
With over a thousand and six hundred (1600+) participating players, no player could afford to blink (or could they?).
From the get go, players shared the top spot over and over again, until a certain Mohammed took over, and ensured he held on to the top spot until the end.
With no berserk option available, players either have to finish their games quickly or ensure they don’t lose.
However, they needed to play as many games as possible (or ensure that they don’t lose a game) to give themselves a shot at the top.
As interesting as the battle was at the top, the qualification at the lower end of the 30th spot was also quite intriguing.
Several chaps held their nerves to shoot up to the qualification zone, while a few others had to qualify with the final set of games.
A few missed out by a whisker, as they were knocked out via tie breaks, even though they finished on the same point as the final set of qualifiers.
These qualifiers will now play against some of the big names of the Sub-Saharan Africa, along with our Arabian counterparts. It promises to be a super interesting eleven (11) round of games.
A hundred and eighty (180) players have confirmed participation in today’s semifinal Swiss tournament. A few of these guys include Tunisia’s Mohamed Tissir, Zimbabwe’s Rodwell Makoto, South Africa’s Kenny Solomon, Nigeria’s Abdulraman Akintoye, and Zambia’s (Hope of a Nation) Prince Daniel Mulenga, just to mention a few.
Today’s games will not take the form of the preliminary’s arena that was employed yesterday, rather, today’s games will follow an eleven (11) round Swiss pairing tournament.
The time control remains three (3) minutes plus an added two (2) seconds increment from move 1.
The games kick off by 4pm GMT today. Do kindly note that the male semifinals will not be shared on zoom. However, the female finals will be played while screen is being shared on zoom.
The venue is still the brilliantly free Lichess.org platform.
At the end of today’s games, the top twenty (20) players will qualify to play against the best of the best players across the Arab and African divide.
Who are your top five (5) players for the semifinal?
You can follow the female final through the link below:
Who are you tipping to win the female section?