Home Chess News FM Harold Wanyama grabs a bronze medal at the African Games

FM Harold Wanyama grabs a bronze medal at the African Games

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FM Harold Wanyama a grabs bronze medal at the African Games

FM Harold Wanyama of Uganda put an amazing display of his chess prowess when he grabbed a bronze medal at the African Games last month. What is even more commendable is that this event had some of Africa’s best players taking part.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich makes the ceremonial first move for GM Adly Ahmed of Egypt. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich makes the ceremonial first move for GM Adly Ahmed of Egypt. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .

The 12th edition of the African Games took place in Morocco from 23rd to 31st August 2019.  

The format was changed slightly to cater for much tighter budgetary circumstances.  This did not dampen the mood as 20 African teams competed in the chess events.

Instead of having separate teams for the Open and the Ladies, the event was a combined one. Each side had four members and included two men and two ladies.  

A Rapid and Blitz event took place as well.

Poster for the 2019 African Games.
Poster for the 2019 African Games.

The African Games were previously known as the All-Africa Games or Pan African Games.   

The continental event has been held every four years since 1965, with exceptions during the 70s and 80s. 

Chess has only featured in 3 earlier edition of these games and includes the following;

Abuja, Nigeria 2003

Algeries, Algeria 2007

Maputo, Mozambique 2011

The 2015 edition in Brazzaville, Congo did not include chess.

Most of this year’s competitions took place in Rabat. However, the chess events took place in Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco.   

The playing hall at the 2019 African Games. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
The playing hall at the 2019 African Games. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .

Tournament format

Five contests spread out in a five-day schedule from the 24th until the 28th of August took place: 

  • A nine-round mixed team event, with four players per squad (two men and two women). Time control: 15 minutes for the game plus 10-second increments per move.
  • Two individual nine-round individual rapid tournaments (open and women’s categories), with the same time control (15’+10″).
  • Two individual nine-round individual blitz tournaments (open and women’s), with a time control of 3’+2″.

Egypt took home all five gold medals and three out of the four silver medals that were still up for grabs. 

The proud Egyptian Team posing with their 5 gold medals and 3 silver medals. From left GM Adly Ahmed, WGM Wafa Shrook, WGM Shahenda Shrook, and GM Amin Bassem. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
The proud Egyptian Team posing with their 5 gold medals and 3 silver medals. From left GM Adly Ahmed, WGM Wafa Shrook, WGM Shahenda Shrook, and GM Amin Bassem. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .

Mixed Rapid

Mehul Gohil, Ricky Sang, WCM Joyce Nyaruai and Sasha Mongeli represented Kenya.  Team Kenya ended up in 14th place out of 20 teams. They obtained a total of 8 points from 3 wins and two draws.

Team Kenya - from left Mathew Kanegeni (coach), Sasha Mongeli, Mehul Gohil, WCM Joyce Nyaruai and Ricky Sang.
Team Kenya – from left Mathew Kanegeni (coach), Sasha Mongeli, Mehul Gohil, WCM Joyce Nyaruai and Ricky Sang.

The highlight was when Kenya held the highly fancied Zambia to a 2-2 draw.

Cape Verde faces Kenya. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
Cape Verde faces Kenya. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .

Egypt won the gold and Algeria the silver medal. Zimbabwe played well to grab the bronze to prevent a North Africa sweep. 

Podium photo at the Mixed Rapids. Algeria (left) with the silver medal, Egypt in the middle with the gold and Zimbabwe who won the bronze medal. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
Podium photo at the Mixed Rapids. Algeria (left) with the silver medal, Egypt in the middle with the gold and Zimbabwe who won the bronze medal. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
Standings in the Mixed Rapids.
Standings in the Mixed Rapids.

Rapid

Mehul Gohil ended up with 4.5 points in 26th position out of 48 players. Ricky Sang ended with 4 points in 33rd position.

Mehul Gohil who played board 1 for Kenya. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
Mehul Gohil who played board 1 for Kenya. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .

The Kenyan ladies fared much better.  Sasha Mongeli obtained an impressive 5.5 points to end in 11th place.  WCM Joyce Nyaruai finished with 5 points and 13th in ranking out of 42 players

Sasha Mongeli of Kenya (right) in action. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
Sasha Mongeli of Kenya (right) in action. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .

GM Ahmed Adly was the winner with an impressive 8½ points out of 9 rounds.  GM Bassem Amin finished a half-point behind, after drawing with third seed GM Hicham Hamdouchi

The loudest cheer from East Africa came when FM Harold Wanyama of Uganda won the bronze medal. A truly proud moment for Uganda. 

Prize winners in the Rapid Open section. From left GM Amin Bassem (silver), GM Adly Ahmed (gold) and FM Harold Wanyama of Uganda with the bronze medal. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
Prize winners in the Rapid Open section. From left GM Amin Bassem (silver), GM Adly Ahmed (gold) and FM Harold Wanyama of Uganda with the bronze medal. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .

FM Harold Wanyama (2237) was in devastating form. He defeated GM Hicham Hamdouchi (2575) and IM Rodwell Makoto (2405). He then drew against IM Adlane Arab (2434), IM Andrew Kayonde (2312) and GM Bilel Bellahcene (2473).

FM Harold Wanyama also held a dangerous initiative in his game against eventual winner GM Adly. See the game below.

Proud winners pose with FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
Proud winners pose with FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .



WGM Shrook Wafa finished tied on 7/9 with Zambian WFM Lorita Mwango but got the gold medal thanks to her better Buchholz score. 

WIM Sabrina Latreche of Algeria was 3rd to grab a bronze medal for her county.

Prize winners in the Rapids Ladies. From left Zambian WFM Lorita Mwango (silver), WGM Shrook Wafa (gold) and WIM Sabrina Latreche (bronze). Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
Prize winners in the Rapids Ladies. From left Zambian WFM Lorita Mwango (silver), WGM Shrook Wafa (gold) and WIM Sabrina Latreche (bronze). Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .

Blitz

Mehul Gohil and Ricky Sang ended up with 4 points each in 29th and 30th position respectively.

WCM Joyce Nyaruai obtained 5 points to end up in 12th position out of 39 players. Sasha Mongeli got 4 points to end up in 26th position.

GM Bassem Amin scored a perfect 9/9, leaving GM Ahmed Adly in sole second place trailing by 1½ points. Algerian GM Bilel Bellahcene finished in third place with 6½ out of 9.

GM Amin Bassem in action and winner of the gold medal in the Blitz section. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
GM Amin Bassem in action and winner of the gold medal in the Blitz section. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
GM Bilel Bellahcene of Algeria who won the bronze medal in the Blitz section. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
GM Bilel Bellahcene of Algeria who won the bronze medal in the Blitz section. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .

WGM Shrook Wafa got her third gold in the individual blitz event with 8 points.  WGM Shahenda Wafa was half-point behind with 7.5 points to get the silver medal. WIM Nassr Lina of Algeria managed to grab the bronze medal as she finished sole third with 7 points.

WGM Shrook Wafa (middle) winner of the Blitz event with 8 points. WGM Shahenda Wafa (left) was runners up and WIM Nassr Lina was the bronze medal winner. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
WGM Shrook Wafa (middle) winner of the Blitz event with 8 points. WGM Shahenda Wafa (left) was runners up and WIM Nassr Lina was the bronze medal winner. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .

FIDE support

It is noteworthy to point out that FIDE came out in full support of this event. Most of the FIDE top brass were in attendance. These included FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE Executive Director Victor Bologan and FIDE International Director Mohd Al-Mudahka, and Advisor to the FIDE President Berik Balgabaev.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich plays a few blitz games against GM Adly Ahmed. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich plays a few blitz games against GM Adly Ahmed. Photo credit Mohamed Bounaji .

It was, after all, Africa’s most prestigious event with most of the top players from the continent. It was most unfortunate that South Africa which has some of the continent’s top players missed the event. Other strong nations that missed the event were Sudan and South Sudan.

Final medal standing

Kenya ended up with eleven gold, ten silver and ten bronze medals to end up in 7th in the medal standing. Egypt was top with 102 gold, 98 silver and 73 bronze medals!

Medal standings for the 2019 African Games.
Medal standings for the 2019 African Games.

Links

Standings & Results of 2019 African Games.

African Games to feature chess.

Mehul Gohil crowned King of AAG.