Ngubeni analyzes Africa's Top 20 Players


The African Top 20 presents an interesting perspective of the continent's chess masters. The list shows four Grandmasters, there are in fact Five.
GM Slim Bouaziz (2338) of Tunisia, does not make the top 20 club due to his low fide rating.  Also GM is WGM Tuduetso Sabure of Botswana can be mentioned. She holds the unenviable 1st woman in that category for the continent. We say this because she will always be thought in the same realm as the European woman Grandmasters, however in fairness the region is not presenting the environment that she can freely thrive in strength.

FM Farai Mandizha (2366) of Zimbabwe, like the terrific duo GMs of Egypt, is the new fresh face of youth Africa chess. He is a phenomenally talented player. He has in a series of serious competitive events in the USA (2006), he scalped the fearsome GM Nakamura and went on to deliver consistently a +2550 performance! This is the young man to watch. He will clinch the GM title, perhaps this even ahead of much fancied "elders" in the Southern Africa.

IM Kenny Solomon (2344) is a solid chess player who does not make the top 20 but alas, this Cape town warrior is not enjoying the view of the mother city. He is a consummate theorist who likes the indoors cuddling only his chess men. The results are all too familiar. In the last half a decade Solomon has consistently ranked tops in RSA events. He will soon be relegating someone to settle in the above list.

Stanley Chumfwa is simply the most dangerous player this continent habours. Those who regard his lack of title to go with his skill in chess underestimate him to their peril. He stormed to qualification in the 2006 World Chess Champs held in his home country with a comfortable margin. Inspired Zambia to a crushing 3-1 defeat of the regional much fancied South Africa (Personally winning against super IM Kobese) and held the Egyptians! He will be causing some upsets once more in Namibia later in August 2007.

Jackie Ngubeni, The Chess Academy (South Africa)

Posted by The Chess Drum:  28 July 2007

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