The 9th All-Africa Games had its twists and turns and both the men's and women's competition had its share of drama. One thing that was consistent was the play of Egypt (men) and Algeria (women). Both teams won by comfortable margins. Both competitions saw the South African teams roar from behind to take silver medals. The South African men got 11/12 in the last three rounds to surpass Zambia while the women went on a 10/12 rampage to nip Nigeria by ˝-point. The Zambian men had to settle for the bronze, but may have vied for the gold with top player IM Amon Simutowe on board #1.
The Nigeria women has won another medal adding it to the Turin Olympiad. Team Nigeria used a "board stacking" system to place strongest players on lower boards. Rosemary Amadasun, who played board #1 at the Turin Olympiad was paired on last board for some matches. IM Odion Aikhoje also played on lower boards and piled up points. While this strategy is good for individual results, it may have cost the Nigerian men a team medal and the Nigerian women a higher medal (lost both matches to South Africa).
In terms of individuals performances, OlimpBase reports that Egypt won five of the six board medals, a feat that is perhaps unprecedented. It shows that Egypt's domination of the field was complete and thorough. It also shows that team with two Grandmasters and three International Masters is shoulders above the other African federations… at this point.
The tournament had little coverage of the chess tournament and there were no access to game scores and only a few photos were taken. Hopefully in the coming weeks, we will see more information surface about the tournament including photos taken by federations, games scores, blog entries and news releases. Independent sites are trying to piece information together to compile their reports. Stay tuned!