In Day 2 of the AOICC 2021, a Namibian desert spear was thrown at the heart of the Eastern star and dimmed its shine! This tournament is proving to be every bit as eventful as it promised to be from the get go. All sections are producing gems and if you mine hard enough, you will definitely reap exotic minerals. Welcome to the recap of Rounds 3 and 4 of the maiden African Online Individual Chess Championship 2021!
A few weeks ago East Africa’s Olympiad bronze star recipient, FM Harold Wanyama, made some controversial statements. He claimed that in Africa, International Chess Masters were weaker than their international counterparts based on their ratings and that the masters who got their titles via the Africa Individual Championships were especially suspect. Furthermore, he said that chess strength lies more in ratings than in titles. This made the 3rd round clash between him and IM Dante Beukes, especially more interesting. Another element to this chess puzzle was that Dante had just lost a match to a certain African chess hermit (GM in IM clothing) Robert Gwaze by an unreplied score of 10-0.
Given all these backgrounds, the match between the two titans, one with a higher rating and the other with a better title, made this match-up all the more captivating. Suffice to say Dante won his game in a truly romantic, swashbuckling, sacrificial, style. In the actual game, he sacrificed so many pieces, that one would think he brought an extra chess set to the game! I saw someone comment that “it was like watching bughouse”, because, after all those sacrifices, he still ended up with more pieces than his opponent! Anyway, that game is analyzed below and he went on to draw GM Bellahcene in Round 3.
GM Ahmed Adly, IM Fy Rakotomaharo and Yamine Seddaoul lead the Open section with perfect scores while Africa’s number 1 GM Bassem Amin, IM Dante Beukes, IM Andrew Kayonde, IM Mariano Amarelle, GM Bilel Bellahcene and IM David Silva are chasing half a point away! The Round 4 match-up to watch out for is definitely Amin vs Adly!
Algerian Latreche Sabrina is in sloe lead with a perfect score after her victory over Tunisian Amen Miladi in Round 3, in a Guiocco Piano opening set up. She now becomes the one to chase in the Women’s Section.
Hot on her heels are 5 players, just a half point behind! 2 WGMs, 2 WIMs, and a certain Charinda Kudzanayi!
As expected, FM Charles De Villiers is in the lead, but shares that lead with 4 other players! It is still a tight battle in the Senior players over 50 section.
In the section that hosts the future of African chess, we have a 6-way tie for first after 3 Rounds!
Round 4 and 5 should clear things up a bit for us since these young players did not come here to play, but to PLAY!
Algerian WIM Lina Nassr, Angolan Jemima Paulo and Botswana’s Besa Masaiti are all on perfect scores going into the 4th and 5th Rounds. These young ladies have fought like warriors and have won by all means necessary. Time. Advantage conversion. Tricks. Whatever it takes, these young lady warriors are deservedly jointly at the top of the standings, leading the pack.
Things should clear up after Day 3 and we will see who is the ultimate warrior in this group!
How can I follow this event?
The Africa Online Individual Chess Tournament is a 9 round swiss 25|10 online event and runs from February 01-06, 2021. It holds the closing ceremony on February 07, 2021. All rounds start at 16:00 EAT daily on the first day, and thereafter there will be 2 rounds at 16:00 EAT, and at 19:00 EAT respectively. *Unlike previous OTB editions the Africa Individuals 2021 online maiden edition is not a rated event and therefore no norms or titles can be earned from it. You can follow the games using the following link.