Home Africa Report #AAOIOCC2021: Champions Emerge!

#AAOIOCC2021: Champions Emerge!

by Ogunsiku Babatunde
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The brilliance of the partnership between the Arab Chess Federation and the African Chess Confederation is seen in the Final.

As expected, it was a final to remember. Men from the North and South battled for supremacy, in a final that saw every player receive a beating!

Female champion, Ghayda Alatta of Jordan, chose not to take up her personal right to fight the men for supremacy (a wise choice?).

Ghayda Alatta of Jordan 🇯🇴 |

The final started with Ameir Moheb (Moheb-Amir) securing a draw against the favorite of the championship, Adly Ahmed, in an opposite bishop endgame that ensued from a blow for blow attacking game.

Both Ezat Mohammed (Mezat) and Koniahli Malek (MaLeKkoNihli) were in fine form at the start of the tournament. They displacing all that came to them in the first three (3) rounds, inclusive of Dr. Bassem Amin (Dr-BassemAmin) and Bilel Bellahcene (Bilelou) respectively.

Meeting themselves atop the standings in the 4th round, they followed the route taken by the ladies who led the female final in our report yesterday, and fell to the same fate.

A smiling GM Adly Ahmed of Egypt 🇪🇬

In a game that looked like it was heading to a draw, Ahmed Adly showed Carlsenic precision and understanding of minor piece movement, to convert and take the full point home.

While Ameir Moheb was on hand to take advantage of a miscalculation by Malek, which gifted a free knight in the middlegame, and an unseen queen at the death of the game.

This allowed the Egyptian blitz maestro, Ahmed Adly, to take full charge and hold on for most of the tournament. His handling of the 7th round game against Salem A.R. Saleh (Retired93) was nothing short of an angry mode, considering his draw in the previous round against Bilel Bellahcene.

By the 8th and 9th round, the Southern forces were pushing for a top ten (10) finish, with the hope of gaining entrance into the top 5 at the end of the tournament. This charge was being led by both Rodwell Makoto (ZimOne) of Zimbabwe and Keith Khumalo (SouthAfricanWolf) of South Africa.

Keith Khumalo of South Africa 🇿🇦

It was the Wolf that would end up giving the South a reason to joy, as he was able to overcome the challenges put before him, picking up a final set of victories in the last three (3) games of the tournament, to claim the 5th place position ahead of Dr. Bassem Amin, Ezat Mohamed and Hesham Abdelrahman (Hesham-a) at the end.

In the 9th round, when it seemed like the tournament was going to witness an unprecedented unbeaten record by Ahmed Adly, Hesham sprung up the surprise. As shocked as Adly was, the spectators were even more shocked, and that’s just the beauty of chess.

Adly chose a wrong plan in the opening and Hesham duly punished it, not minding the number of pawns he had to sacrifice to get his way.

Hesham went into the next round full of confidence, having just defeated Adly Ahmed, a player who had exerted his dominance on the field. Hesham now takes on the current leader of the championship, Bilel Bellahcene, and the Egyptian went all out with fire.

GM Bilel Bellahcene of Algeria 🇩🇿 | Image Courtesy of Mohamed Bounaji

Hesham did an Ivanchuk in the championship, who took down Magnus Carlsen in the penultimate round of the 2013 Candidates tournament and then defeated Kramnik in the final round (handing Magnus his opportunity to make history).

However, Bilel found the draw line in a game that was already going down the drain. Bilel then had to settle for second place after being held to a draw in the last round of the tournament, which secured an all important 3rd place for his countryman, Mohamed Haddouche.

After his second loss of the tournament, young Egyptian Fawzy Adham was on a winning spree that placed him in contention for the top crown, going into the final round of the championship.

However, after giving Adly a scare in the opening, his middlegame play left little to be desired, as he surrendered the initiative to Adly, and the giant duly converted.

We hope you have enjoyed our reporting of the event. The closing ceremony will hold today on the zoom platform, by 4pm GMT, and everyone has been invited to join. This championship is billed to be the first of many to come. Get ready for the new dawn!

The zoom information is as follows:
Topic: Closing Ceremony/Arab-African Online Individual Open Chess Championship 2021
Time: Feb 28, 2021 04:00 PM Greenwich Mean Time
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 869 4022 0033
Passcode: 573251

President Lewis Ncube, in his billing to ensure the development of African chess players, accepted the invitation of Sheikh Saud bin Abdul Aziz Al Mualla, to partner for development. The success of this event will most likely spur players get more opportunities to show what they are capable of, to learn more, and to keep hope alive.

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