2005 African Individual Chess Championships
(November 4th - November 15th)
Lusaka, Zambia

Belkhodja beats Lungu… takes lead

Slim Belkhodja is one of four Grandmasters on the vast continent of Africa. He shares that honor with namesake and compatriot Slim Bouaziz (Tunisia),  Hichem Hamdouchi (Morocco) and the latest, Ahmed Adly (Egypt). 

Based in France, he has played steadily during this tournament and yesterday grabbed a ½-point lead over
FM Nase Lungu. Lungu had been having a strong tournament, but the Tunisian was able to squeeze out a point  in a rook ending.

It is interesting that Belkodja will play the defending African champion,
Essam El-Gindy in an all-important game.  If he wins, it will put him in a favorable position to win the title going into the last round. Adly is favored against Pedro Aderito, but realizes that the Angolan is quite dangerous.

GM Slim Belkhodja (Tunisia/France). Copyright © 2005, Zambian Chess Federation.

GM Slim Belkhodja (Tunisia)

What is interesting is that Stanley Chumfwa of Zambia has probably been overlooked amidst all the titled players.  If he scores one point in the remaining rounds, it would earn him the IM title and put in him position to earn one of the six spots for the World Cup. Lungu has dropped back of the pace and has to face compatriot and friend, Amon Simutowe. Simutowe, who attends school at the University of Texas-Dallas (USA), needs to score two wins to earn a sure spot to the World Cup.

In the women's competition,
Tuduetso Sabure lost her second game in a row to top-seed, Sohir Busta. There is now a virtual four-way tie for 1st with Sabure, Busta, T. Takawira-Makumbe and Linda Nangwale all on 5-2. Chess fans may remember that Nangwale famously made a fashion statement at the 2002 Olympiad with her hair done in the colors of the Zambian flag. She is paired with Busta in the penultimate round. Nangwale hopes her home advantage will help her in her match against Busta. The South African quartet is trying to make ground, but will be hurt by the fact that two players are paired. This will hurt  chances for contention. Thrilling finale ahead!

Tournament Coverage!

Posted by The Chess Drum: 13 November 2005