9th All-Africa Games (Algiers, Algeria)

As the chess competition heads toward its last stages, medals are still in the balance at the 9th All-Africa Games. Currently, the Egyptian men's team holds a comfortable three-point lead after 10 rounds. Zambia is second on 28 while Nigeria is third on 25. In the last three rounds, Zambia gets a 0-point bye, São Tome & Principé (weakest) and Egypt (strongest). Their chances are very good, but Nigeria will have a slightly easier schedule with 0-point bye, Namibia, Angola. The South Africa men stand a chance to leap into medal contention since they are only 1½ points back and play Mozambique, Kenya and Ethiopia, all struggling teams. They could get all 12 points here, so I'm picking Egypt, South Africa and Zambia for the medals.

In the women's competition, the three medallists are already decided. Algeria, who has held the lead the entire tournament, plays Nigeria in a big match while the South Africa-Nigeria finale will decide the other two medals. Algeria will most likely clinch the gold since they will probably score full marks against Libya while both Nigeria and South Africa will battle medal contenders. Botswana is 5½ points back from medal contention and again has had a disappointing performance. Only a medal would have softened the pain from their 0/36 debacle in Russia.


Posted by The Chess Drum:  16 July 2007

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