Day 3 tournament leaders Fy, Sabrina, and Marcio Filipe were all defenestrated to be replaced by new faces at the top on Day 4 of the ongoing AOICC 2021! The only nuisance might be the slight blemish of possibly aided players, but that is always a risk with tournaments of remote play, along with prizes that are so lucrative.
Tournament leader Fy had a difficult day at the office on day 4 of the championship. He had to sit across the board digitally from BOTH of mother Egypt’s towering chess monoliths. The awe inspiring duo of Adly and Bassem were handed to him on the same day, respectively!
If anyone is billed strong enough to go up against Africa’s crème de la crème, it had to be Fy. The young Malagasy is no pushover, and he has shown remarkable resilience with beautiful play time. However, he probably rued his chances, when first he lost against Adly and then had an excellent position against Bassem, which he failed to convert.
Young IM David Silva catapulted himself to 5 points after defeating his Namibian counterpart, IM Dante, in round 6, and securing a draw against the deadly GM Ahmed Adly in the subsequent round 7.
IM Andrew Kayonde spoiled his chances to move up after he was unable to withstand the forces of Tunisia’s Ahmed Bouzidi in a Trompowski-esque line, which resulted in his loss. Bouzidi went on to snuff out Botswana’s National champion, Thuso Mosutha (The Sanitizer). The Bots is showing superb preparedness in the first significant international deployment of his reign.
Moulaye Brahim Hemam (2040) is inexplicably and conspicuously absent from the pairings. His name reflected struck through, and any points he had, given to his opponents. Exactly what happened to youth player Beghriche. Word just In, is that there are more developments to that story, which we will cover in a separate article.
The penultimate round 8 for me has only one encounter I do not want to miss, Bassem vs Bilel. If I am not mistaken (and I will have to verify this) Bilel won the last encounter between the two, and it will be interesting to see if Africa’s number one will be able to correct matters of hierarchy.
Sabrina lost her top spot to Khadidja in a hard fought battle. She was always worse after the opening, but missed a few significant chances to gain an advantage or at least to equalize. Khadidja is now in shared first with another Algerian, Amina Mezioud.
WIM Onkemetse Mendu Francis has her birthday today! Will she celebrate it by blowing out the candle of WCM Joyce Nyaruai Ndirangu? Will Sabrina cast a spell on Charinda to get her top spot back? All these questions can only be answered after the upcoming rounds! Conspicuous in her absence is a certain Naleli McPherson; a matter that will be dealt with in a separate article.
Someone should tell Oom Charles that it’s enough; he does not have to be so ruthless. The over 50 former champion must be relieving his best days, as he is on an unbeaten streak, while administering punishment at will. Most games in this section are inexplicably ending in time trouble.
After the tournament U20 Open group leaders drew against each other, they each suffered losses in their round 7 games, to be dethroned by the duo of FM Lamine Brahami and Taleb Mohamed Abderrahim.
CM Keith Khumalo who had an underwhelming tournament finished his round 7 game in style.
The U20 princesses are under the firm rule of princess Lina Nassr who is deputized by the aptly named Davida Strong! Botswana’s Besa (which means ‘Barbecue them over hot coals!) is joint second after her 6th round victory over fellow home girl Natalie Katlo Banda.
We will have to see what happens in this group because these princesses did not come to joke around, but to take home the medals and prizes!!
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.