Amin, February win 2024 African Individuals!

GM Bassem Amin and WIM Jesse February took the titles at the 2024 African Individual Chess Championship (AICC). It would be Amin’s seventh (200920132015 and 2017, 2018, 2022, 2024) and February’s second (winning in 2021). While Amin was dominant throughout the tournament, February had to wait until the last round when the result would be final.

Jesse February and Bassem Amin, winner of the African Individual Chess Championships (AICC)
Photo by Niki Riga

Jesse February (RSA) and Bassem Amin (EGY)

Despite reports that she had already clinched the title, Lina Nassr could have caught her with a win and a February loss. The South African won the head-to-head match against Nassr, but that was only the fourth tiebreak. The average rating of the opposition would be the secondary tiebreak.

Going into the last round, Nassr had the edge in potential tiebreaks. Unfortunately, Nassr could not defeat Zambia’s Constance Mbatha, and had to settle for silver. February was in a desperate fight against Ethiopia’s Lidet Abate Haile who could not find a way to convert her winning advantage.

One of the bright spots in the AICC women’s competition was 12-year-old Deborah Quickpen’s performance. “Debby Quick” tallied 6/9, inflicting February with her only loss. However, she was just out of medal contention. Let us hope that she gets the nurturing she needs to improve.

Deborah Quickpen (Nigeria)
Deborah Quickpen (Nigeria)

Photos by Babatunde Ogunsiku


AICC2024 (Women)

South Africa

National Anthem

The 7th time is a charm!

Bassem Amin has the most impressive collection of awards in African chess history. Now a seven-time champion, he was in trouble once throughout the event. Zambian IM Chitumbo Mwali was in magnificent form and essayed the English Opening against the Egyptian titan.

GM Bassem Amin (Egypt) vs. IM Chitumbo Mwali (Zambia)

It appeared that white was developing a dangerous initiative on the kingside and the engines showed a clear advantage. That advantage evaporated after some inaccuracies, but they agreed to a draw in the position below.

GM Bassem Amin (Egypt) vs. IM Chitumbo Mwali (AICC 2024)

One may believe that white should press on with 40.Nxf8+ Nxf8 41.Qxf6, but there was a matter of time pressure. Nevertheless, “The Copper Eagle” brought back the bronze medal to Zambia. Winning his first four games and drawing with Amin, Mwali was in the running before losing his next game to silver medalist Bilel Bellahcene of Algeria.

Following the medalists were a quintet of players on 6/9, including the 1998 Olympiad medalist and veteran Odion Aikhoje. This is a credible result, given that Nigerian International Master only plays over-the-board tournaments occasionally. However, he will continue to inspire young Nigerians and the entire African Diaspora seeking Olympiad glory.

IM Odion Aikhoje (Nigeria)
Photos by Babatunde Ogunsiku


AICC2024 (Open)


National Anthem

Standings (AICC)



FIDE Olympiad Torch is received in Ghana!

Accompanied by FIDE officials, including Tshepiso Lopang, the President of the African Chess Confederation and Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Deputy Chair of FIDE’s Management Board, the torch arrived in Ghana’s capital, Accra. 

. . .

With the chess flame reaching Africa, the “Mother Continent”, the relay continues, moving to Europe. On April 07 the torch ceremony will be held in Bern, Switzerland. Celebrations will be held on Bundesplatz, the social heart of the city and will also feature simultaneous exhibition games with top chess players, presentation of a postal stamp dedicated to the 100th anniversary of FIDE and Gala Dinner with FIDE100 awards.,

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