The 9th All-Africa Games has started on today with approximately 9,000 athletes from throughout the African continent. The sports festival runs from today July 11th through July 23rd. A report out of Algiers by Aliou Goloko stated,
A total of 3,800 referees will oversee athletes competing in 27 sports, up from the 22 which featured during the 2005 Games in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Algerian government has spent more than U.S. $100 million to renovate the eight villages housing athletes, and 1,000 Algerian and 450 foreign journalists have been accredited to cover the Games.
Chess is one of the competing sports and both a team and blitz tournament will be held. There have been some issues with teams being unable to fund their expenses for the trip, visa problems and top African players nixing the tournament, but we can expect a very exciting and competitive team tournament. Security will be tight given the recent spate of bombings.
The African Individual Championship takes place next month August 31st through September 11th in Windhoek, Namibia.