GM Adly Ahmed confirmed his status as ‘Simba wa Misir‘ (Lion of Egypt) when he won the 2019 edition of the African Individual Chess Championship.
The event held in the historic city of Tunis in Tunisia saw a total of 42 of some of Africa’s top players taking part. The tournament had a whooping average rating of 2242 with players from 18 federations.
GM Adly scored 8 points out of 9 games with only one loss to compatriot GM Amin Bassem. GM Adly who was the 2007 World Junior Champion has now won his 3rd African title, cementing his name in the history books. The other ‘Simba wa Misir‘ GM Amin Bassem, ended in 2nd position with 7 points.
Another GM from Egypt, GM Essam Elgindy was 3rd with 6.5 points to ensure a clean Egyptian podium finish. He defeated rising star GM Bellachene in the last decisive round to clinch the third spot.
GM Bilel Bellahcene versus GM Essam El Gindy
GM Bilel Bellahcene, the 21-year-old star from Algeria, was fourth with 6 points. IM Fy Rakotomaharo of Madagascar was fifth also with 6 points.
It was undoubtedly one of the most competitive chess events on African soil. At stake were two slots for the forthcoming 2019 World Cup and a top prize of USD 5,000. The total cash prize fund in the Open section was USD 15,500.
There was a significant upset in round 3 when IM Bilel Bellahcene defeated top seed GM Amin Bassem. GM Bellahcene then lost to GM Adly in round 4.
GM Amin Bassem versus GM Bilel Bellahcene
GM Hesham Abedelrahman of Egypt had a disastrous outing. He pulled out after round 5 after having suffered one draw and two defeats. His unusual poor form was due to a medical condition.
IM Andrew Kayonde of Zambia holding Zone 4.3 champion IM Rakotomaharo from Madagascar to a draw was another exciting game.
IM Andrew Kayonde versus IM Fy Rakotomaharo
It was interesting to note that 14-year-old Tary Ngombele Bongo of Gabon was the youngest participant. He ended up with 2 points.
East Africa had only one representative taking part. Allan Benjamin Mande of Uganda who was ranked number 41 obtained 2.5 points.
Kenya has never had a player taking part in this event.
The final results now mean that Egypt will have three players taking part in the forthcoming World Cup in September 2019. GM Adly will be there by winning the Zone 4.2 held in Mombasa, Kenya. GM Bassem and GM El Gindy will be the other two representatives.
The other three players from Africa who will take part in the World Cup include the following;
IM Fy Rakotomahao of Madagascar – Winner Zone 4.3.
GM Bilel Bellahcene of Algeria – Winner Zone 4.1.
IM Daniel Anwuli of Nigeria – Winner Zone 4.4.
Khanty-Mansiysk in Russia will be the host city for the World Cup which runs from 9th September to 2nd October 2019.
WGM Wafa Shrook also of Egypt won the Ladies section with a score of 8.5 points out of 9 games. She has now won this event a record four times!
The top three ladies have qualified for the 2020 FIDE Women’s World Chess Championship Cycle. WGM Wafa Shrook (Egypt), WIM Sabrina Latreche of Algeria and WIMAyah Moaatz (Egypt) have qualified for this cycle.
The Ladies section had 42 players from 18 federations. The top prize for the Ladies Section was USD 3,000 out of the total of USD 6,500.
WCM Shakira Ampaire of Uganda played well to score 5 points out of 9 games and end in joint 4th place or 10th in ranking. This is indeed an impressive performance by WCM Ampaire.