May 6th, 2020 by Daaim Shabazz
Since 2016, Senegal has been riding the chess wave of momentum seen on the African continent. Francophone Africa has been making quite a bit of inroads in countries where draughts has a more prominent following. The Federation Senegalaise des Echecs or “FESEC” is currently led by Mr. Amadou Lamine Cissé who serves as President.
Last month, Senegal joined several West Africa federations to compete in the Zone 4.2 Individual Chess Championship in Freetown, Sierra Leone from March 15th-21st. Nigeria’s Aijibola Olanrewaju would win the title among 30 players with a convicing 8.5/9.
Senegal made the trip to Freetown, but with the coronavirus looming, they had to leave with three rounds remaining. It was unfortunate because a number of them were on course to qualify for FIDE titles. The FESEC players were: Amadou Lamine Cissé (20th place), Bernard Lesbros (21st), Nadezda Marochkina (24th), Mouhamadou Mourtada (26th).
Olanrewaju also won the two quickplay events. Unfortunately, Senegal competed for six rounds before having to leave the tournament. In the rapid section (24 players): Nadezda, a Russian national representing Senegal came in 5th which included a draw in round 6 against Olanrewaju. Lamine placed 10th followed by Bernard 12th and Mourtada 15th. In the blitz section (22 players) Mourtada 7th, Bernard 11th. Neither Lamine nor Nadezda took part of this event.
Participants of 4.2 Zonal (Sierra Leone)
Photo by Mario Kpan
Mouhamadou Mourtada Fall told The Chess Drum:
Due to lockdown, we are present online. We participated in the West Africa Online Team Championship held on April 18th. There were countries from Nigeria (A&B), Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, Liberia. We ended up 4th (players were Rassoul Diarra, Mouhamadou Mourtada Fall, El Hadj Nourou Ba, Mohamed Diop, Amadou Lamine Cissé. To boot, a friendly blitz match between Senegal and Ivory Coast is scheduled to take place on May 9th on Lichess.org from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.