#AAOIOCC: A Queen Emerges and A Final to Remember!

Expected fireworks at the Arab-Africa Online Individual Open Chess Championship 2021!

The semifinal (Male) and final (Female) of the Arab-Africa Online Individual Chess Championship 2021 produced an amazing evening of chess, played in both the male and female sections.

The event spoiled fans and followers for choice within both events and this is what is expected of chess at a professional level.

It is hoped that the partnership between the Arab and African chess leaders will enable more players to perform at this level on a more consistent basis.

The Female Final:

It was a tug of war in the final, as twenty five (25) ladies battled it out in brilliant fashion. Under the watchful eyes of the organizers, the final was a show of how good the ladies currently are, and how good they can be is yet to be determined.

Organizers, arbiters, and team.

Besa Masaiti (LaraCroft_1) of Botswana and Boshra Alshaeby (Joqueen90) of Jordan started like a house on fire. They both kicked off with a brilliant 4.5/5, with the draw coming against themselves.

Besa Masaiti of Botswana|Image Credit: Ogunsiku Babatunde

However, they both went on to lose their subsequent 6th round against Wafa Shahenda (LadyCactus) and Ayah Moaataz (Silvermist15) respectively, paving the way for the both Egyptian queens to join the party.

After Shahenda showed Besa “how not to play a dragon variation of the Sicilian opening”, she fell against her countrywoman while trying to use the Anglo-dutch defense, which is a form of Leningrad opening.

Coming on the back of her second loss in the tournament, Jordanian Ghayda Alatta (Jordanleader1) stormed to an amazing five (5) straight wins in the final five (5) games, to secure her place at the top of the standings.

Her victories over the trio of Ayah Moaataz (Silvermist15), Sabrina Latreche (Latrechesabrina), and Wafa Shahenda (LadyCactus) in the first three (3) rounds of the tournament ensured that when the Egyptian duo caught form, she was long gone.

The championship victory now gives the Jordanian queen the personal right to play against the top guys in the men’s final.

Men’s Semifinal:

In an event that had four (4) guys tied for the top place with a score of 9/11, these guys were in superb form to deny others a chance in the top places, and we’re only separated by tiebreakers.

The start of the semifinal event was so intense that six (6) players started off with a perfect 4/4. While others were falling off, Ameir Moheb did one better, going 6/6 with crushing victories over his opponents.

As fate would have it, a certain Algerian wonderkid, Nassr Ali (Mnanaukparty) was able to find the perfect opening that gave him pawn advantage on both the kingside and the queenside, which effectively ended the Egyptian’s reign at the top.

The Algerian went on to enjoy fate’s intercession in his next round, as his opponent gifted him a rook via mouse slip (in the endgame), which gave him full control of the top position after eight (8) rounds of games.

It was not to be though; a draw in the 9th round and subsequent losses in the final two (2) rounds, condemned him to 7th place at the end of the semifinal.

Zimbabwe’s Chigodo Mukai Cyril (Handy-Andy) was in amazing form, as he brilliantly swept aside several top guns to secure a firm top place finish alongside Algeria’s Adjerit Nourreddine (Lactionsamba), Boudriga Mohamed Ali (Naruto_69) and Ameir Moheb (Moheb-Amir).

South Africa’s young blood, Mhango Banele (Banelevich) was bouyed by his victories over Zimbabwe’s top dog, Rodwell Makoto (Zimone) and his countryman Calvin Klassen in a double swoop during the 7th and 8th rounds respectively. He is definitely one to watch out for in the nearest future.

The best placed Nigerian was also another prodigy, Okeke Isaac (Nextlevel4naija), who finished in 30th position on the log, with a point total of 7/11.

The list of men below have now qualified to play against the top players from the Arab and African chess communities, with another set of five (5) prizes to be won.

NOTE: Lamine Brahami finished in 21st position. However, the 10th player pulled out and is being replaced by him.

These set of players will go ahead to face Arab and Africa’s top players who have ratings of 2400 and above.

Time of play remains 4pm GMT.

L-R Standing: Faisal, Sheikh Saud, and IM Omar

Sheikh Saud bin Abdul Aziz Al Mualla and the Sharjah club are the organizers of the Sharjah Masters. An event that holds every year since its inception, barring the corona virus hold up last year. However, it is hoped that the

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