Photo by Anastasia Kharlovich
Africa has its first 2700-rated player in Egypt’s Bassem Amin. It has achieved this landmark before other aspiring geographic regions. The 29-year cut his teeth on Africa continental tournaments and won the 2004 Africa Juniors. He is a four-time African champion (2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017) and recently won the Lake Sevan tournament in Armenia.
He narrowly missed eclipsing the 2700 rating at the World Cup losing a heartbreaking match to Viktor Erdos. In that match, he was completely winning and fell into a stalemate trap. Erdos went on to win in the tiebreaks. Amin was visibly dejected. Amin recently won the Abu Dhabi Masters with 7.5/9 drawing to within points of the coveted Super-GM status. He then clinched it during the Swedish League game against IM Jonathan Westerberg.
This is a milestone for the African continent given that Amin was essentially raised on tournaments in Africa and the Middle East. There are many stronger chess countries that have never produced a 2700 player. It certainly shows that the chess has become more universal and the ability to attain a high skill level is possible for modest chess federations.
1st of November Fide rating is out and I am officially the First Egyptian,Arab and African chess player ever to reach the #2700 rating 🙂 pic.twitter.com/WIcJYD1ahL
— GM Bassem Amin (@GMBassemAmin) October 31, 2017