GM Ahmed Adly has won the Open Section at the maiden edition of the Africa Online Individual Chess Championship 2021. With this win, he stands to walk away with the $3,000 first place prize! The online tournament, which was hosted on the Tornelo platform, will hold its closing ceremony tomorrow, Sunday, February 7th.
In the ladies section, WGM Amina Mezioud stole the show and takes home the crown of African Chess Queen for 2021. As per the rules, the closing ceremony and awarding of prizes will be held 2 days after the last game. This is meant to allow organizers and arbiters to deal with any possible appeals and/or investigations.
Very little was separating the players in the Open section, where all games were tightly contested affairs. All players can go home with the assurance that they gave their very best. Except of course, that most were playing from home anyway.
It was GM Ahmed Adly (Egypt’s elite player, with accolades to fill a thousand scrolls), who snatched the gold in the end. His countryman and Africa’s number 1, had to settle for the silver, with just half a point behind. Whereas, GM Bilel Bellahcene of Algeria notched the third place position on tiebreak (with IM Fy Rakotomaharo and CM Donaldo Paiva finishing on same point) to take bronze.
The duo of Fy Rakotomaharo and Donaldo Paiva would have to settle for 4th and 5th place prizes respectively, because there is no sharing of prizes at the event.
Unfortunately, the gallant efforts of notably David Silva, Andrew Kayonde, Dante Beukes and others may not receive monetary reward, but rest assured that chess fans are truly grateful for some of the brilliant displays we witnessed.
Algerian WGM Amina Mezioud, won gold at the Women’s section. She accrued 2 important wins in the last 2 rounds to finish strong, surpassing Sabrina Latreche, who settled for the silver, just half a point behind Amina. Although Khadidja Latreche had secured her top 3 finish, she lost her last game to Linda Dalitso Shaba of Zimbabwe, who had a solid tournament, finishing ahead of top seed, WGM Shahenda Wafa of Egypt.
As I predicted, 7-time South African champion, FM Charles De Villiers predictably took gold in the ‘madalas’ section of players over 50 with an unbeaten 8.5/9 score. He is still a very strong, and relatively active player. For those who are interested in his history, I have attached a recent interview he did with @Calvin Klaasen and Dr. Lyndon Bouah on their Twitch channel.
Zoheir Slami and CM John Mukabi settled for second and third spots respectively.
FM Lamine Brahami of Algeria won the U20 Open gold with a beautiful win in the 8th round, and a draw with Banele Mhango in the last round. He ended the tournament joint first on 7.5/9 points, along with FM Domingoes Junior of Angola, however, having a better Bucholz points. Taking bronze on joint third place with Banele Mhango (both on 7 points), is Mauritania’s Mohamed Abderrahim Taleb Mohamed, also with the better Bucholz points. This is exactly what Africa’s number one chess player lamented about, with his comment to our article on cheating, when he said:
Big problem is [that] the tiebreak of the tournament is Bucholz, which is your opponent points, and playing a cheater simply kills your tiebreak because you get 0 points from playing him!! And that is simply so unfair in my opinion..– Bassem Amin
So that means big mistake in deciding the tiebreak system for the tournament.. knowing such cases would happen no matter how hard we try to stop it!
WIM Lina Nassir achieved gold in the U20 Girls section with a score of 8 points. She secured this victory by defeating Egypt’s Yara Allam in the 8th round on time and securing a draw in the last round against Natalie Katlo Banda of Botswana on move 31, which was enough to secure the golden top place.
WFM Besa Masaiti, also of Botswana, “went home” with silver, finishing just a point behind the leader. The untitled Davida Strong from South Africa finished in third place and took the bronze with 6.5/9 points.
We at Africa Chess Media would like to appreciate every single individual that has followed our reports of the AOICC 2021. We hope we have been able to entertain you!?