It was a bittersweet Day 4 for many of the chess players and attendees of the Moja Chess Extravaganza 2022 as the Open sections came to an end leaving only the GM/IM norm section to continue. The air was tinged with nostalgia with newly formed friendships, excited winners, dejected players and comforting hugs all swirling in melancholy loitering in the lobby of the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre.
This was just after the prize giving ceremony. A tough 7th round had just revealed to us the winners, but before I rush too far ahead let’s take a step back and have a look at what happened in the last round.
WIM Anzel Laubsher and Van Den Berg Ane smoked the peace pipe to end their last round encounter in a draw. Lindokuhle Bhila also could not make headway in her game against Kristen Ahjum and followed suit with a draw. It was the Nel vs Yende encounter that ended up in a decisive result.
Hayley Nel spoke “the English” with White and proceeded to rain down hail-storm of tactics on Thoko Yende’s position as early as the 16th move, after Thokozile did not find the best way to get her King out of the centre when she played 16… g6?.
Nel nailed down the black knight in a discovered attack with her Bishop and Yende’s English data bundles were depleted a few moves later when she could not call on the rest of her army to defend her position and got checkmated.
And thus was Hayley Nel then crowned Ladies section champion!
A draw with Muzi Nkambule was sufficient to see to it that Jorah Soojay was crowned section B King with 6.5 points. Behind him was Tumelo Mmola who jumped into second place with 6 points after a victory over Keitumetse Nape. In joint third place was Muzi Nkambule sharing with Sagrys Miguel and Wium Van Tonder.
1600 rated Michael Simpson fought hard but could not take down South Africa’s highest rated titan, the 2400 rated Daniel Cawdery in a last round encounter that everyone was looking forward to. They both entered the last round tied at 5.5 points each but Cawdery simply outclassed Simpson and took the game and first position in the Prestige all at the same time. Multi-purpose move.
IM Rodwell Makoto took clear second place with a crucial win over Junior Minenhle Mncwabe to end on 6 points and Michael had to settle for shared third place on 5.5 points with Devon Smit and Vusumuzi Mlahleki.
GM/IM norm section
Round 4 of the GM/IM norm section proceeded with 4 decisive games from the 5. On-form Christiaan Acho trounced CM Keith Khumalo who employed the ultra aggressive Yugoslav attack eminating from the Sicilian Dragon.It was not to be for Khumalo who is struggling to find his form in this tournament.
FM Banele Mhango won his encounter with Alessanro Parodi who lost both the game and his appeal to have his drawn third round game declared a win for him. Kela and Barrish drew and both GM Short and GM Grover ended the day with a victory over their opponents.
The Moja Chess Extravaganza is a chess event organized by the Moja Chess Club, under the auspices of Frances Baard Chess, Northern Cape Chess and the Northern Cape Tourism board. Chess players both local and international have been invited to participate in Over-The-Board chess activities to be held at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre which is situated in Kimberley, Northern Cape on 18 – 22 March 2022. A GM/IM norm event is also scheduled to run concurrently between 18 – 27 March 2022.
Prizes for the event are:
GM/IM Norm event – PRIZE FUND: R87,000-00
Prestige Section – PRIZE FUND: R28,500-00
Ladies Section – PRIZE FUND: R18,250-00
B Section – U1600 – PRIZE FUND: R8,550-00
C – Section – U1100 – PRIZE FUND: R3,950-00
D – Section – U900 (Born 2011 or later )- PRIZE FUND: R1,750-00