The first thing that comes to mind when South Sudan is mentioned is political strife!
The good news however is that South Sudan has a vibrant and robust chess community which was evident last week.
The South Sudanese Chess Federation hosted the 3rd edition of the National Chess Tournament which ran from 16th to 24th June 2018.
The venue was Juba Bridge Hotel (Juba Bridge Hotel) and it was a grueling 11 round event that attract around 100 players. The top 5 players in this prestigious event would make the 2018 Batumi Olympiad team.
FM Michael Deng Khor was the clear winner with an impressive 9.5 points out of 11 games.
FM Michael Deng Khor rated 2000 has represented South Sudan in the 2016 Baku Olympiad. He played on board 4 where he scored an impressive 7 points out of 11 rounds to earn a FM title.
CM Joseph Deng Ateny, Akech Mareu Garang, and CM Rehan Deng Cypriano were joint 2nd with 9 points each. David Mayoi Buoi was 5th with 8.5 points to grab the 5th and final slot.
Kenyan based James Panchol found the going very tough and withdrew after 8 rounds when he had 5 points.
South Sudan Chess Federation was formed in 2014 and joined FIDE in 2016.
This story is the 2nd one that we have featured on South Sudan. The first one can be found here Report from South Sudan.
Kenya has a number of strong South Sudanese Chess players like James Panchol and Peter Diing. This dynamic community organised their own chess tournament in Nairobi last year – 2nd South Sudanese Community Tournament.