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Chess Kick Off At The All Africa Games 2019

by Ogunsiku Babatunde
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With the 12th edition of the All Africa Games on the way, and medals already being fought for and won in various sports, the chess aspect of the games kick off today and the list of participating countries and players has been released.

brown map on map
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Twenty-one (21) countries have been released to have the full number of four (4) participants per team, which includes two (2) male players and two (2) female players for each of the teams. With their teams incomplete, both Uganda and Sierra Leon have been exempted from the team event, because they were only able to provide two (2) players apiece.

These players would however participate in the individual blitz tournament, as we were reliably informed by the president of the Kenya Chess Federation, Mr. Bernard Wanjala. It is quite sad that South Africa, Madagascar and a host of other African countries were unable to make the trip due to one reason or the other and Africa Chess Media hopes they recover quickly and join the continent in their stride.

Team Gabon! Photo Credit: Mehul Gohil

With Egypt the team to beat as always, both Algeria and Nigeria would be looking to capitalize on the combined male and female team to pick up some important points that would help them claim medals with.

GM Amin Bassem! Photo Credit: Alina L’Ami

With GM Amin Bassem leading the ranks for Egypt and GM Ahmed Adly deputizing, their match against Algeria would be one to watch out for, considering GM Bellahcene Bilel would be looking to return the favor that GM Adly afforded him at the Africa Individual Chess Championships just a few months ago, albeit in the comfort zone of the latter.

Team Malawi! Photo Credit: Malawi Chess Federation

The event is one such tournament that you can not afford to underestimate your opponent, because half a point almost ensures that you do not get anything on your board. As every game counts down, each country that are unable to fight for the team medals would be looking to fight for individual board medals and this is where permutations and combinations come in play, and it would be interesting to see the countries that eventually come out with medals in this format.

Team Namibia! Photo Credit: Makisho Makhosi

At a tournament that boasts of four (4) Grandmasters, two (2) Women Grandmasters, twelve (12) International Masters and five (5) Women International Masters, among the titled players participating, the nine (9) round team event would be quite interesting to follow and we at Africa Chess Media would be looking to bring you the actions as well as our friends at Kenya Chess Masala, Bruvchess Media and The Chess Drum would also be providing updates and we hope you would enjoy the event from our views at the comfort of your homes, offices and on the road.

The schedule would have five (5) rounds of Rapid games today, at a time control of 15 minutes + 10 seconds added from move 1, and four (4) games tomorrow the 25th day of August, before the Blitz games kick off.

Hotel Mogador, Casablanca – Image Courtesy: Tripmasters.com

As the games kick off at the Hotel Mogador in Casablanca, and the round 1 pairings out for all to see, the games would be interestingly coming in thick and fast and our hope that they would be streamed live for all to follow has been met with an inclusion on the Chess24 page.

Below is the first round pairing as can be seen on https://chess-results.com/tnr465340.aspx?lan=1&art=2&rd=1

Team pairings

Round 1 on 2019/08/24 at 11.00 No.TeamTeamRes.:Res.

1  Egypt vs Ethiopia:

2  Namibia vs Morocco:

3  Algérie vs Cameroon:

4  Malawi vs Nigeria:

5  Zambia vs Mauritius:

6  Sao Tome and Principle vs Angola:

7  Tunisia vs Mali:

8  Eritrea vs Zimbabwe:

9  Botswana vs Central Afria Republic:

10  Cape Verde vs Kenya

With Cote D’Ivoire on Bye for the first round

We hope to be able to provide some updates as they come, before our recap of the day’s rounds.

Who do you think would come out on top?

The usual suspects of Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia?

Or there would be a Leicester in one of Zambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Botswana?

Do have your say in the comments section below and let us know your thoughts.

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