Ahmed Adly wins the 2019 African Individual Championship!
Bassem Amin takes the silver… El-Gindy bronze!
There were a lot of combinations in terms of the medal race, but in the end, everyone knew an Egyptian Grandmaster would be on the gold medal stand. The question was, “Would it be Adly or Amin?” GM Ahmed Adly had to be held and GM Bassem Amin had to win for for the current position to change. It didn’t happen and Adly won his game against a streaking IM Rodwell Makoto to win the title outright.
It was a Catalan and rather equal throughout, but the Egyptian simply understood the position better. The move 28.Bf7+! was a punch to the gut since not accepting the bishop meant black is mated after 28…Kh8 29.g6 when 29…h6 30.Rxh6 is mate. If 28…Kf8, then 29.Rxh7 and black is gone. So after 28…Kxf7 29. Rxh7 Be8 30.Rxg7+ Kf8 31.Rxb7 and white won in a couple of more moves.
What a momentous victory for Adly, his third title. In won his first championship with 7/9 in 2005 and second in 2011 where he scored 8/9. He repeated this 8/9 winning formula this edition and was a deserving winner. He will be an capable African representative in Khanty-Mansisyk.
With Adly winning quickly, Amin-Rakotomaharo didn’t exert themselves in a game that wasn’t going to change the medal outlook. In fact, Rakotomaharo had an outstanding tournament losing only one game to the eventual champion last round. Just short of a GM norm, but this experience is one of his best to date.
For GM Bassem Amin, he will qualify for the World Cup along with Adly. IM Fy Rakotomaharo will be joining them as a zonal 4.3 champion as will IM Daniel Anwuli, winner of zone 4.4 and GM Bilel Bellahcene, the winner of zone 4.1. Adly had already qualified as the winner of zone 4.2, so the next spot will probably go to GM Essam El-Gindy, the next qualifier in line. Stay tuned for official report.
Shrook Wafa wins 3rd title…
Algeria’s Latreche prevents an Egyptian shutout, takes the silver… Mooataz bronze!
WGM Shrook Wafa
2019 African Women’s Champion
Photo by Egyptian Chess Federation
With gold already decided, the Egyptians were looking for more medals. Actually Sabrina Latreche had already clinched a medal and actually lost to the defending champion Shahenda Wafa. Both Ayah Mooataz and Eman Elansary won equaling the Algerian on 6/9, but had weaker numbers on all three tiebreaks.
Unfortunately, Latreche will be the only Algerian making the trip to Khanty-Mansisysk since Amina Mezioud’s loss to Mooataz caused her to miss the silver medal. The Algerian simply got lost in the complications. Heartbreaking loss. Elansary brutally mated Tunisia’s Amira Marzouk to end just out of the medals, but ending with a strong result.
The host Tunisians did well with in terms of Elo performance with four players showing gains…
- WFM Amen Miladi (1777, +60)
- WFM Amira Marzouk (1667, +30.6)
- WCM Malek, Chihi (1526, +22.8)
- WCM Zaineb Hwass (1403, 23.2)