The second day of the Moja Chess Extravaganza 2022 even did not let up in action and excitement.
Grandmaster meet and greet
Since the playing venue for the grandmasters is a bit further away most of the participants had not met them, except perhaps for GM Short who played a simul n opening day. Organizers arranged, for the young players especially, a surprise meet-and-greet session where they could interact with all 4 GMs.
The grandmasters fielded all types of questions from the usual how much time they spend studying chess to if they have ever met and/or beat Magnus Carlsen! Parents were also given opportunity to ask their own questions. It was a beautiful experience for the youngsters and everyone alike to meet colossal figures they most likely only just see on the internet or read about. I was just a tad disappointed that no one asked ACC President Lewis Ncube how they can be President, no leaders here.
Hopefully it sparks the next youngster to ascend to the highest chess office. What am I saying, GM Amir confessed that he got his title at age 30 so it’s never too late if you’re determined and never give up. Yes I’m talking to you older players.
Section C and D ends
Section C and D concluded their final games and were awarded their prizes. Ishmael Mlambo and Tebogo Setai won the C and D sections respectively outright, both on unbeaten full point streaks. If you play chess at Joubert Park in Johannesburg you would know that the young Ishmael has the unfair advantage of being , born with chess brains, he is that good, one to watch for the future.
Second place in the C went to the highly energetic Lincoln September who was also unbeaten, half a point behind Ishmael. On shared third spot were 4 players, Freddie Manyate, Omolemo Mokwa, Abay Jughree and Kopano Zanazo. All 4 will equally share the prize money. Behind Tebogo Setai in the D were Orren Groenewaldt and Luis Kian Horne in shared second place a point behind the lead. Takura Alvern Changara and Rohann Scholtz went in on the shared third spot.
Happiness is an inside job and it was great to see second placed Lincoln being the most outwardly celebratory of all the winners!
Jan Karsten, Daniel Cawdery and Cebo Xolani Mathebula are all on full points after 4 rounds with a chasing field of 12 players all a point behind them! It is getting more and more competitive as players who were relatively unknown before COVID had time to craft and polish their game judging by the numerous hard knocks rattled on the heads of elite players. This will be a very interesting upcoming Round 5!
Lindokuhle Bhila leads the Ladies section on full 4 points after 4 rounds followed closely (half a point behind) by WIM Anzel Laubsher after some hard fought games.
Jorah Soojay, Geriant Segelar an Lebogang Difotso are currently unbeaten in the U1600 B chased by a hungry bunch of players.
GM/IM norm section
During the meet-and-greet the grandmasters were asked if they had ever met over the board before. GM Grover responded that although they had not yet met he would meet GM Short that afternoon and that one of them will end up crying. And one of them nearly did in a tightly fought battle that ended peacefully on move 51.
The lowly ranked and heavily underestimated Christiaan Acho played with a chip on his shoulder and dispatched of Banele Mhango to register himself in the book of players with points. Keith Khumalo, Alessandro Parodi and Kela Siame Kaulule are scraping the bottom of the table after round two searching for at least one elusive point.
The game between Alessandro and GM Amir Zaibi inexplicably had a queen disappear from the live feed while it was still on the board. If you want to see it I managed to get the scoresheet from Alessandro while he was still doing a post mortem on his dearly departed game.
The Moja Chess Extravaganza is a chess event organized by the Moja Chess Club, under the auspices of Frances Baard Chess, Northern Cape Chess and the Northern Cape Tourism board. Chess players both local and international have been invited to participate in Over-The-Board chess activities to be held at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre which is situated in Kimberley, Northern Cape on 18 – 22 March 2022. A GM/IM norm event is also scheduled to run concurrently between 18 – 27 March 2022.
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- Short, The ‘Trouncer’, wins! – Moja Chess Extravaganza 2022 Day 9 - March 28, 2022