13th All-African Games (Accra, Ghana)

The recently concluded All-African Games were held in Ghana’s capital, Accra, and chess was one of the events. The last event was held in 2019 in Rabat, Morocco. The Chess Drum has covered previous editions of the All-African Games, and this event attracted 18 countries.

Top African players, including Grandmasters Bassem Amin (EGY) and Bilel Bellahcene (ALG), International Masters Mariano Ortega Amarelle (CPV), Fy Antenaina Rakotomaharo (MAD), David Silva (ANG), Chitumbo Mwali (ZAM), Women’s Grandmaster Shahenda Wafa (EGY), and Women’s International Masters Lina Nassr (ALG) and Jesse Nikki February (RSA), have converged for this prestigious event.

~FIDE Report, https://fide.com/news/2923

Interestingly, the Olympiad torch will pass through Accra through several continents and end up in Budapest for the 45th Chess Olympiad. There were three disciplines (four events): mixed rapid team, individual rapid, individual blitz, and mixed blitz team.

Mixed Team Rapid

FIDE Executive Directory Victor Bologan with Arbiters at Opening Ceremony
Sao Tome Principe vs. Nigeria

The Egyptian team (GM Bassem Amin and WGM Shahenda Wafa) won the competition after Uganda held them in the first round. Algeria lost to South Africa in round 2 and spent the next few rounds fighting Madagascar and Angola for second. The three nations trailed Egypt by one point and stood on 6/8. Egypt and Algeria drew their match, while Madagascar and Angola also drew. In the final round, Egypt beat Nigeria, Algeria won over Angola, while Madagascar and South Africa drew their match. Madagascar would win the bronze on tiebreaks.

IM Fy Rakotomaharo and 12-year-old Aina Mahasambatra Tsinjoviniavo took bronze.
Photo by African Chess Confederation

Final Standings (Mixed Rapid)

4South Africa8
9Ivory Coast6

Individual Rapid

FM Harold Wanyama vs. GM Bassem Amin

The open event, a six-round Swiss tournament, saw the rating-favourite GM Bassem Amin and the ninth seed CM Donaldo Paiva of Mozambique get off to a great start, both winning three straight games. The co-leaders clash in Round 4 ended in a draw, but in Round 5, Bassem beat FM Jemusse Zhemba (Zimbabwe) and pulled away, as Donaldo suffered a defeat at the hands of FM Harold Wanyama of Uganda.

Going into the final round a half-point ahead of Wanyama and a full point ahead of a group of four people, Amin made a quick draw with Gomolemo Rongwane from Botswana, but it was enough to clinch gold with 5/6. His main rival fell to Donaldo Paiva, who tied for second place with Adlane Arab of Algegia and deservedly took silver thanks to the direct encounter win.

~FIDE, https://fide.com/news/2918

Final standings (Open)

1 GM Bassem Amin EGY 2580 5
2 CM Donaldo Paiva MOZ 2162
3 IM Adlane Arab ALG 2415
4 FM Gomolemo Rongwane BOT 2085 4
5 FM Harold Wanyama UGA 2117 4
6 IM Fy Antenaina Rakotomaharo MAD 2378 4
7 IM David Silva ANG 2423 4
8 IM Chitumbo Mwali ZAM 2276
9 FM Jemusse Zhemba ZIM 2140 3
10 FM Bomo Kigigha NGR 2292 3
WGM Shahenda Wafa (Egypt) was fortunate in the end.

The women’s event was a very close affair with a dramatic ending. Going into the final round as the sole leader with 4.5/5, the top seed Shahenda Wafa was a half-point ahead of Lina Nassr of Algeria and needed just a draw.

However, the highly motivated Algerian, who was in a must-win situation, gradually outplayed the leader and reached a winning position:

Shahenda Wafa – Lina Nassr

After natural 67… Ke5 68. Kc6 Ke6 69. b6 Rc1+ 70. Kb7 Kd7 71. Ka7 Rb1 72. b7 Kc7 Lina would have won White’s pawn and the title. However, she hastily played 67… Rc1+?? but after 68. Kd6! Shahenda Wafa reached a draw and clinched gold.

Meanwhile, WFM Ednasia Junior of Angola scored a crucial victory over Peace Samson from Nigeria and caught up with Lina Nassr. The silver medal went to the Angolan thanks to a slightly better Buchholz, while the Algerian had to settle for bronze.

~FIDE, https://fide.com/news/2918

Final standings (Women)

1 WGM Shahenda Wafa EGY 2006 5
2 WFM Ednasia Junior ANG 1911
3 WIM Lina Nassr ALG 1933
4 WFM Sasha Mongeli KEN 1806 4
5   Nadezhda Marochkina SEN 1985 4
6   Peninah Nakabo UGA 1768
7   Peace Samson NGR 1935
8   Linda Dalitso Shaba ZIM 1783
9 WCM Marie Yavo Tchetche CIV 1663 3
10   Aina Mahasambatra Tsinjoviniavo MAD 1558 3

Individual Blitz (Open)

GM Bassem Amin took his third gold medal in the individual blitz.

The day started with individual blitz competitions open and women sections, 9-round Swiss events with 5 min + 3 sec time control. Bassem Amin, the only GM in the field, put in a very strong performance and won his third gold with an impressive 8/9.

The second seed, IM Fy Antenaina Rakotomaharo of Madagascar, gave the champion a good run for his money and also scored 8/9 but had to settle for silver after losing the direct encounter. FM Banele Mhango of South Africa pulled off a crucial final-round victory over IM Adlane Arab from Algeria and took bronze.

~FIDE, https://fide.com/news/2920

Individual Blitz (Women)

FIDE Arkady Dvorkovich makes the first move while Executive Director GM Victor Bologan looks on.
FIDE Arkady Dvorkovich makes the first move while Executive Director GM Victor Bologan looks on.
WGM Lina Nassr (Algeria) and Linda Dalitso Shaba (Zimbabwe) during the blitz competition.
WGM Lina Nassr (Algeria) and Linda Dalitso Shaba (Zimbabwe) during the blitz competition.

Just like day before, the women’s blitz competition was a close race between WGM Shahenda Wafa (Egypt) and Lina Nassr (Algeria; pictured below, left) who came to the final round neck-to-neck on 7/8. Shahenda had a great chance for her third gold (as the winner of the direct encounter) but this time around fortune smiled on the Algerian.

Wafa completely misplayed a superior position against Constance Mbatha of Zambia and lost, while Nassr achieved overwhelming advantage vs Jesse Nikki February of South Africa but offered a draw to secure the title.

The 11th seed, Natalie Katlo Banda, produced a minor sensation and took bronze, netting 6/9.

~FIDE, https://fide.com/news/2920

Mixed Team Blitz

In the last event, Egypt and Algeria battled for spoils once again. Algeria prevented Egypt from getting a clean sweep, but in the final event, Egypt will win again. Algeria actually won against Egypt in Round 5, but despite an identical 15/18, Egypt won based on a higher number of game points. Nigeria, known for its blitz tradition, took bronze.

“Our joint efforts brought chess to better visibility and opened better prospects in the future…. The tournament was very intense, with so many games played over just a few days. The competition was amazing. In almost every category, it was not clear who would occupy the podium until the end of the last round. As many as seven teams won medals in this competition, which is great for chess development in Africa.”

~Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President
FIDE Officials, Organizers and Arbiters
FIDE Officials, Organizers and Arbiters

Video by FIDE

Official website: accra2023.fide.com/
Photos courtesy of FIDE.com

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