Home Africa Report Day 6: The African Junior Chess Championships 2019

Day 6: The African Junior Chess Championships 2019

by Ogunsiku Babatunde
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The 6th day of the African Junior Chess Championship #AJCC2019 had two (2) vital rounds 6 and 7, that would push the players either further up the ladder to the finish line or down the pecking order, and the players came out to truly FIGHT!

Algerian Ambassador to Ghana, Amb. Youssef Delileche in the center.

The day was made special by the visit of the Ambassador of Algeria to Ghana, Amb. Youssef Delileche, who responded to the call and made the ceremonial opening move on board 1 of the open section. He also gave the Algerians some hugely needed moral support, which ensured a super performance for the kids on the day.

The Ambassador making the ceremonial first move!

Female Section:

The two (2) rounds for this day saw Angola’s WFM Pires Luzia come out on top, with a super important victory over her key rival and rating equal, Enomah Emmanuella Trust, who needed the win to get back into contention, but failed to get it. Luzia would have felt like every other game after that would be a walk in the park, but was later forced into an unprecedented draw by Togo’s De Claudia Ivana Eyram, who held her own against the runaway leader of the section, and ensured that the end result at the end of the day is still respectable.

Angola’s WFM Pires Luzia against Nigeria’s Enomah Emmanuella Trust

The biggest winner on the day, was 14 year old Botswana talent, WCM Gabatshwarwe Refilwe, who celebrated her birthday on the day with two (2) brilliant victories, which put her back into contention, just behind WFM Pires Luzia.

L-R: Botswana Chess Federation President, Mothokomedi Thabano, Birthday girl, Ghana Chess Federation Vice President, Ms Christina and Chief Arbiter, IA Ogbonnaya Obinna

Ghana’s WCM Felix Tobi played some interesting games at the tournament only to lose them, but she would be proud of her day 6 results, after picking up a victory and a draw against her compatriots during the 6th and 7th rounds.

WCM Felix Tobi against Benson Maud

After losing to WFM Pires Luzia, Enomah Emmanuella Trust pulled herself together to come out victorious against Barnor Rebecca as Cote d’Ivoire’s WCM Yavo Tchetche Marie had the reverse, when she picked up her win in the first round of the day, only to lose 7th round to Algeria’s Djerroud Chahrazed in a painful middlegame giveaway (at least she seems to have overcome the crying resultant effect).

WCM Yavo Tchetche Marie of Côte D’Ivoire

Open Section:

In the open section, the big news remains Nigeria’s 16 year old Okeke Isaac’s massive draw against Malagasy IM Fy Rakotomaharo, in a game that initially looked like he could not lose, then to he is losing, only to eventually draw the endgame superbly against a player who is over 400+ ELO points ahead of him, and secure an all important victory, over Egyptian IM Kandil Adham in the 7th round (who defeated GM Fawzy Adham in the 6th round).

Nigeria’s Okeke Isaac

His game against Kandil was one that he had to win to give himself a shot at a title from the event, which would be a major statement to Africans and Africa, that the West are working, and he delivered strongly, to show the huge development going on in the west.

FM Djabri Massinas of Algeria

Algeria’s sole representative in the open section, FM Djabri Massinas, had a favored day 6, as he twice escaped his opponents to come out of the day with two (2) important victories that zoomed him back into contention in the tournament, at the expense of Libya’s Elier Ali and Nigeria’s Ogosi Raphael-Mary.

Nigeria’s Oyelabi Jonathan

After Oyelabi Jonathan’s victory over Angola’s Filipe Marcio in the 6th round, he faced off against GM Fawzy Adham of Egypt, and the Egyptian grandmaster entered into Jonathan’s opening preparation, which gave the young Nigerian a solid middlegame position, which was seen as a winning advantage, only for the Nigerian to miss his continuation during the transition into the endgame and Fawzy did not hesitate to take the full point with ease.

Côte D’Ivoire’s Niamkey Elijah Pharell

The brilliant under 14 player of the day was none other than Cote d’Ivoire’s 12 year old Niamkey Elijah Pharell, who was able to pick up two (2) important victories, with the biggest coming against Sao Tome and Principe’s Fabio Costa Alegre in spectacular fashion.

Amoako Philip Selilkem Yao of Ghana

9 year old Amoako Philip Selilkem Yao of Ghana is another kid to look at for the future in the western region of Africa, looking at his calculating skills and his passion for the game, he might become one to break the world record for youngest grandmaster in history, if he gets the necessary support to go all the way. Picking up half a point against Cote d’Ivoire’s Tanoe Yao Aubin Maximilien was the highlight of his day 6, as he continues to develop and has caught the eyes of some top grandmaster.

The Arbiters for the #AJCC2019!

It is a joy to watch these kids play brilliant chess at this event and the hope is that after this tournament, country federations do not wait until the next major tournament before giving training support to these kids, because they need to continue developing and evolving, so as to attain the very best we know they have the ability to achieve.

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1 comment

Jacques Arthur Niamkey November 1, 2019 - 11:49 pm

Vas y filston Elijah Pharell NIAMKEY. Papa suit tes résultats depuis la France et est de tout coeur avec toi.
Tes frères et sœurs te font de gros bisous et t encourage et veulent que tu sois parmi les meilleurs.
Nous t’aimons
Toute la famille NIAMKEY et LONGVILLE


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