The smoke is starting to clear at the Africa Online Individual Chess Championship 2021, with group leaders starting to pull away from the rest of the field in the various groups. We have already passed the halfway point of the tournament, and while things are still a bit tight at the top, the leaders are getting clearer.
Madagascar’s IM Fy Rakotomaharo takes the sole lead, going into the 4th day of proceedings at the AOICC 2021 with a perfect 5 points from the first five games. He sits half a point ahead of the ultra strong GM Ahmed Adly of Egypt. Behind them on shared third spot is the scary trio of Africa’s number one, GM Amin Bassem, Uganda’s FM Harold Wanyama, and Mozambique’s Donaldo Paiva. Fy won his Round 4 and 5 games with ease, dispatching GM Bellahcene in the 5th round in a tightly fought contest.
Namibia’s IM Dante Beukes is having a good tournament and won his round 4 game against Zambian IM Andrew Kayonde by posing problems on the board, and secured victory on time. However, he was stopped short by GM Ahmed Adly in Round 5.
In Round 6, the tournament leader, IM Fy Rakotomaharo meets GM Ahmed Adly in a South vs North encounter. We have some other interesting match-ups in this round, with GM Bassem Amin against FM Harold Wanyama, and a battle of the young bloods, as IM Dante Beukes go against IM David Silva!
Decorated Algerian WIM Sabrina Latreche leads the women’s section after a win in Round 5 over top seed WGM Shahenda Wafa. She is now half a point ahead of the chasing quartet of WGM Mezioud Amina, Naleli McPherson, Charinda Kudzanayi and WIM Onkemetse Francis.
Round 6 is going to be a tight contest, with some interestingly strong match-ups. Botswana’s WIM Onkemetse Francis will take on the group leader and a battle of the WGMs Amina and Shahenda!
6 time South African National Chess Champion FM Charles De Villiers is still holding down the fort in the ‘madalas’ section. He continues the charge with an unbeaten 5 points. However, Zoheir Slami is hot on his heels, being only a half point behind.
Angola has sent a strong 21 player delegation to this tournament and one of their young talents Marcio is in shared first place with FM Banele Mhango of South Africa. Marcio had a very convincing 4th Round win over fellow country man CM Amaro Lutuima who is higher rated, in a Scotch themed opening.
The upcoming 6th Round will be really interesting. Keep an eye out for talented Algerian FM Lamine Brahami, who was wounded in the 4th round by the Egyptian starlet, Martin Mena.
**In other news, Beghriche Rami Tedjeddine has been evicted from the tournament for being flagged to be highly likely to have received assistance during the tournament.
Full report in an upcoming article.
WIM Lina Nassr is keeping things under control in the U20 girls section with a half point lead. The chasing field no doubt have their claws out, and are coming for her position once blood is noticed. She should be able to hold her own, but her upcoming game against WIM Lucia Pires of Angola will not be an easy one.
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.