The 6th day of the Africa Individual Chess Championship saw the top dogs showing class by separating themselves from the rest of the pack with very impressive victories over their respective opponents. With all fighting for first position, we must remember that there can only be one alpha.
In a match of countrymen on board 1, GM Bassem Amin needed only twenty eight (28) moves to show the young Egyptian Grandmaster Fawzy Adham why the Scotch Gambit is not being played at the top of the chess food chain. The brilliance of the rook swap from the queenside and the extended pin on the king would just make you fall in love with chess all over again. These back to back victories keeps the good doctor on course to gain the ticket to the World Cup, barring any other hiccups.
It was a firecracker on board 2, in our game of the day, where GM Adly was not willing to take any prisoners and the veteran IM gave it his best shot to keep up with the Egyptian, but to no avail, as Adly showed ruthless tactics from the get go and confirmed his victory with yet another tactical shot, which caught the Algerian IM off guard and he had to resign afterwards, seeing what would become of his position after the impending forceful exchange.
GM Bellahcene Bilel was bursting on board 3, where he played a superb 6. h4!? Against the Sicilian Narjdorf, showing where the Ivorian FM missed his moves and enjoying a brilliant middlegame that saw him enjoy unlimited space advantage, restrict his opponent’s pieces to his home area and turn his opponent’s light squared bishop into a tall pawn, which eventually sealed the victory for him.
IM Fy Rakotomaharo defended against the Ruy Lopez opening employed by the Zambian FM Munenga Douglas in masterful fashion and finishing with precision. The young Malagasy was able to secure a center passed pawn in the middlegame and knew just the right time to give it up, so that he would not have to fall for the errors of the previous day again. Giving up the center pawn at the right time gave him enough time to ensure the security of the a-pawn, which then served as the backbone of his success on the day against a formidable Zambian.
On board 5, FM Douissa Oussama pushed the Moroccan veteran GM Hamdouchi Hicham to the length and showed why he is no pushover in the sport. Both players played an almost symmetrical position and at the end they both only had their king to themselves, as every other pieces had been swapped for one another.
It seems the loss to FM Amdouni Zoubaier awoke the fire in GM Essam Elgindy, who has now won three (3) straight games to keep up with the top players. In round 6 the Egyptian veteran took out Libya’s representative in FM Elarabi Abobker Mohamed to book an appointment with the good doctor in round 7.
A draw could not be avoided on boards 7 to 9, as the players were rock solid and did not allow anything get pass them in their bid for not just rating points, but also a sense of pride. And IM Makoto Rodwell made it two out of two (2/2) after his loss to Oragwu Chukwunonso, and it is quite interesting to see the turn of events for the Zimbabwean since the loss.
In the battle of the Nigerians, IM Adu Oladapo was just too good for the oncoming FM Oragwu and he dealt a huge blow into the dream of the Nigerian who had hoped to show the world what he is capable of.
Heading into the 7th round, it will be explosive on board 1 with two fiery, young attackers playing for different reasons. IM Fy Rakotomaharo is yet to lose a game at the tournament, but he is yet to meet the top 3 players at the event, of which he meets his first today, while GM Bellahcene Bilel has shown that he is in Africa to challenge for the top spot by taking out GM Bassem in their game at the event, only to lose his first game on the continent to GM Adly. This would be our game of the day and we trust it would deliver as our games of the day have delivered spectacles.
Other games of the round 7 to watch out for includes:
GM Bassem Amin taking on the resurgent GM Essam El Gindy on board 2, for a place at the top
GM Fawzy Adham would be going toe to toe with his countryman GM Adly Ahmed on board 3
IM Kayonde Andrew will be taking on IM Anwuli Daniel in a repeat of the battle from South Africa. And that would be on board 6.
Another countryman battle ensues as IM Chumfwa Stanley takes on FM Munenga Douglas on board 9
The female section saw WGM Wafa Shrook too strong for her opponents at the #AICC2019, as she continues to produce scintillating performances to dispatch her opponents and Nigeria’s Ofowino Toritsemuwa was no different. In trying to keep a cool game, Ofowino got herself into trouble, allowing Shrook’s knight to enter and do serious damages, after the Egyptian had collected two (2) healthy pawns from her opponent. After seeing that the exchange sacrifice which the WGM gave was going to be redeemed brilliantly with a nasty check, the Nigerian had no other choice than to take a bow and resign.
An interesting observation about the game is that Shrook left her opponent shook without moving her rook and took the game.
Playing the Giuoco piano set up on board 2, WIM Sabrina Latreche collected a knight with the b-pawn on move 12, which she consolidated with collecting the second knight alongside another bishop for her rook heading towards move 18. But WFM Sabine Ravelomanana worked her way back from being two officers down to gaining back one and having a possible future with the passed pawn on the a-file, only to fall into a mating net carefully prepared by the Algerian.
WIM Moaataz Ayah was too strong for the 1777 ELO rated WFM Miladi Amen and this was seen in the way she arranged her ‘triple gun’ on the d-file, kept her pawns protected, as she went in for the kill, in an interesting Caro-Khan opening line on board 3.
Meanwhile, WIM Mezioud Amina was doing something similar on board 4, as she blasted through WFM Marzouk Amira and WIM Jesse February thought she had something on her opponent’s King, which she was willing to sacrifice two (2) of her best officers for, only to realize that she would be mated before her perceived plan could work and the sacrifices became futile, thanks to a ravaging knight from the camp of the Algerian WIM Nassr Lina.
The upset from this section came on board 6, where WFM Lorita Mwango dealt yet another blow on WGM Wafa Shahenda, who would be wondering what she needs to do to stop all the losses she is suffering at the tournament, being the second seed at the beginning of the tournament.
And ended on board 9, with the battle of the zone, which ended in favour of the Ivorian, WCM Yavo Tchetche Marie, who stood tall against her Nigerian counterpart, Ibrahim Aishat, in a game which saw the Nigerian clearly unhappy with her performance on the day.
For more about the games going on today, kindly visit https://schoolforchess.com/index.php/mobacher for the live games of today and http://chess-results.com/tnr454580.aspx?lan=1&art=2&rd=6&flag=30 For the final results from the tournament.
So, where is our upset coming from today?
Have your say!