The African Junior Championships were held in Tripoli, Libya December 29th to January 7th and featured players under the age of 21 from both ends of the continent. FM Bassem Amin of Egypt and scored an undefeated 7-1 and was awarded the IM title while Jamila Yougane of Morocco scored 7-2 to earn the WIM title and a WGM norm. Africa's FIDE President Nizar ELHAJ of Libya was Chief Organizer.

FM Mohamed Haddouche of Algeria also scored 7-1, but Amin had the better tiebreaks. Haddouche's only loss was a brilliant attack by last year's champion, IM Johannes Mabusela of South Africa. In a pleasant surprise, Zimbabwe's Mandizha Farai placed 3rd  with 6-2 and upset Mabusela in the process. Mabusela ended with 6-3.

In the girl's competition, Yougane was challenged by Algeria's Karima Beddar with 6-2 and South Africa's Jenine Ellapine with 6-3. She lost only to Libya's Alaref Asma, the tournament's only rated player. Three players tied for joint 4th. They were: Fatima-Zahra Kamal (Morocco),  Keitumetse Mokgacha (Botswana), Mawada Alrahal (Libya).

Posted by The Chess Drum: 9 January 2004