The Africa Games, a continental multi-sport event held every four years, stands as a testament to the vibrant diversity and competitive spirit within the African continent. As one of the largest sporting gatherings on the continent, it provides a platform for athletes from various disciplines to showcase their skills and foster unity among African nations.

In the realm of chess, the Africa Games holds particular significance, serving as a battleground where strategic minds converge to engage in intense battles across the 64 squares. The event not only celebrates the rich history of chess in Africa but also highlights the growing importance of the game as a cultural and intellectual pursuit.

Chess enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the Africa Games as a showcase of the continent’s top chess talent, a melting pot of styles and approaches that reflect the unique cultural backgrounds of the participating nations. This competitive arena not only tests players’ technical prowess but also promotes mutual respect among the diverse chess communities across Africa.

Moreover, the Africa Games offer chess players a valuable opportunity to gain international exposure and recognition. As countries vie for supremacy on the chessboard, players emerge as ambassadors of their respective nations, contributing to the global narrative of African excellence in chess.

In the broader context, the Africa Games play a pivotal role in fostering the growth and development of chess across the continent. By providing a stage for top-tier competitions, the event inspires aspiring chess players and contributes to the elevation of chess as a sport of choice and a responsible one at that. The resulting impact reverberates far beyond the tournament itself, influencing grassroots initiatives and chess programs that seek to nurture the next generation of grandmasters, just like DANHYPRO Enterprise has been doing over the years.

In essence, with the support of Fide, the 13th Africa Games will elevate chess to more than just a game; it will transform it into a symbol of unity, intellect, and sporting prowess on the continent. The significance of chess within this grand sporting event underscores its enduring appeal and the pivotal role it plays in shaping the cultural and competitive landscape of Africa’s diverse nations.

The technical meeting held on the 8th of March, which was also arrival day, and this was done in two phases. In the first phase, the LOC met and decided on how they want the tournament to progress and the key things that needed sorting out.

Meanwhile, the second phase had team captains and players in attendance, along with the LOC, to agree and disagree on matters relating to the tournament in general. One of the key things agreed upon was the no gadget rule, which ensured that players are not allowed to come into the playing hall with any gadget (phone, wristwatch, earphones, air pods, etc), as nobody will keep it for them and they can be disqualified if found on their person. Spectators are also not allowed to come in with their mobile phones, as this is reserved for only a few media guys and technical individuals.

Although everything about the pairing seemed to have been good-to-go from the technical team, only for discovery to be made just before the start of the rounds, that a couple of teams were approaching the team battle with individuals (a single player instead of two {2}).

This put the work done in disarray, as those teams had to be removed and the team composition had to be balanced. Thus, increasing Ghana’s team to three (3) and giving more work to the DGT upload manager.
The teams dove into the battle with zeal and grit, to show those at home that they deserve to be here, no matter how they got here.

Egypt was always the favourite, but they were slowed down twice, when WGM Wafa Shahenda was bested by Uganda’s Peninah and Algeria’s WIM Lina in the 1st and 5th rounds respectively. However, GM Bassem was always on hand to ensure they don’t lose as a team, claiming maximum points and taking no prisoners.

At the end of the day, and after six (6) rounds of intense battles, Egypt asserted their dominance on the continental chess industry yet again, telling others to get back to the drawing board. It will be interesting to see what happens during the next set of battles upcoming today and tomorrow. Securing an impressive four (4) wins and two (2) draws for five (5) team points of the possible six (6) and ten (10) individual points of the possible twelve (12) is just dominating.

Algeria did make their presence known with a strong showing to finish just behind Egypt, which is seemingly where they have mostly been. Although, their slot is not guaranteed in second place, IM Adlane has shown some interesting evolution to his game. He seems calmer and he is smiling more (a sign?).

Apart from their draw with Egypt, their loss to South Africa hurt them deeply, as WIM Jesse February’s victory over her compatriot from Algeria, along with the hard fought draw by “Best Junior” Banele, took those points off their hands and gave themselves a shot at the medal table. Unfortunately, Madagascar had other plans for South Africa.

Securing four (4) wins and a draw and a loss for four and a half (4.5) team points of the possible six (6) and nine (9) individual points of the possible twelve (12) is definitely a strong start to the event from the Algerians.

The two (2) victories from twelve (12) year old Tsinjoviniavo, Aina Mahasambatra was just enough to secure bronze for the Madagascar team that stole the bronze medal under the noses of South Africa, haven finished with the same team points of four (4) from the possible six (6). The final round draw against eachother guaranteed the Malagasy’s podium finish in the mixed team event.

Performance of Notable Countries

Starting brightly must have felt good to South Africa, until the 3rd round draw with Angola, which put them in the sights of the roaring Egypt. Swept aside in the 4th round, the South African team bounced back with a good victory over Zimbabwe in the 5th round, and could only secure a draw in the final round. It was a determined effort that captures the will to win the battles being faced on all fronts. Look out for them in the individual events.

Participating in a tournament of this magnitude without some of your notable big shots and finishing in 5th position is a noteworthy achievement that can not be swept aside. It was a good start for the young Botswana team that will definitely give a lot more in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Botswana joins the talents from both Angola and Nigeria in 5th place, haven secured the same number of team points (3.5) and individual points (7) respectively. Nigeria defeating Zambia was the highlight of their rapid team battle, considering the banter that goes on behind the scenes between the players of both federations.

In conclusion, the battle of the chess section at the 13th Africa Games has just begun. Expect to see the diversity of ideas and intense battles here on out. Stay glued to your sits, because you will definitely be entertained.

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