Seychelles is the beautiful archipelago made up of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean that they say was created by God as his definition of Paradise!
Seychelles was in the chess news recently when they hosted the 2015 African Junior Chess Championship from 27th December 2015 to 6th January 2016. This event ranks as one of Africa’s premier events held under the auspices of the World Chess Federation FIDE.
Another interesting aspect for this event was the line up of the sponsors who included; Ben’s Import as the main sponsor plus others that included Cable & Wireless, Butcher’s Grill, National Sports Council, SOGCA (Seychelles Olympic Games & Commonwealth Association, Nouvelle D’couverte, Classic Design, Marble Villa, STC & SODEPAC, Ministry of Local Government & Sports, Ministry of Culture & Tourism (PS Benjamine Rose), Dan’s Import & Seychelles Breweries.
I have never been to Seychelles but my earliest recollection of this beautiful country was through my huge stamp collection. Most of my Seychelles stamp came from a close family friend.
My favorite stamps from this island for me was the following set. These show the cost of the stamp going up and I think this represents the only time any country in the world has done this.
Back to chess! The Open section had 24 players from 13 federations and the Ladies had 13 players from 5 federation. The notable absentees were Uganda and Tanzania. The good news was that Somalia was represented by 2 players Mohamud Hussein Ali and Ali Abdulla Farah who ended up with 4.5 points and 4 points respectively in this tough 9 round event.
Kenya had two representatives Joyce Nyaruai and Moses Maina who found the event extremely tough. Joyce ended up with 4.5 points to end up 8th and Moses ended up with 3.5 points to end up in 18th position.
Kenya’s result may look disappointing but one must remember that the top player in the Open section was Adham Fawzy from Egypt rated at 2484 and Antenaina Rakotomaharo from Madagascar rated at 2443. This was shark infested waters for Moses Maina in his maiden international event.
The Ladies event had WIM Wafa Shahenda from Egypt who was rated 2096 and who in the end walked away with a Gold medal with 8.5/9.
For Joyce Nyaruai this was her second international outing having just played in the Tanzania Open where she ended up in 10th position with 5/8 points. See story on 2015 Tanzania Open.
I am extremely happy that Kenya has taken part in the the African Junior after a long absence.
At the end of the event it was IM David Silva (2164) from Angola who took home the Gold medal in the Open section with 8/9.
The sad thing about the African Junior Championship is that information is extremely difficult to come by even in the “age of Google”. I have been unable to extract past winners of this prestigious event.
Part 2 of this story will follow but I want to leave you with a photo of Seychelles just to prove my opening statement about paradise.
We at Kenya Chess Masala congratulate Seychelles on hosting a very successful 2015 Africa Junior Chess Championship.
Also, see; 2015 African Junior Chess Championship 2/2