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Thomas Saah is crowned Liberia National Champion

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Thomas Saah is the Liberia National Chess Champion

Thomas Saah is the 2019 Liberia National Chess Champion.

Saah obtained a total of 7.5 points out of 9 rounds. His only loss was to James Tondo in the final 9th and final round.  He also qualifies to play for the 2020 Olympiad team and earned USD 500 as the first prize.

Former Champion James Stephen Tondo (left) takes on Thomas Saah in round 9. James Tondo won this game.
Former Champion James Stephen Tondo (left) takes on Thomas Saah in round 9. James Tondo won this game.

CM Anthony Waylea Jr and CM John Jallah were in joint second place with 7 points each.

The event saw a total of 30 players taking part and included some of Liberia’s best players. The prize fund was a modest USD 1,000 with the winner going home with USD 500.  The runner’s up prize was USD 300 while third place was USD 200.

The event ran from 14th to 22nd December 2019 and took place in Buchanan City, which located in Grand Bassa County. The name of the city comes from Thomas Buchanan, a cousin of US President James Buchana and second governor of Liberia.

Victory speech

Thomas Saah, in his entertaining Victory Speech, sent a message to Liberian chess players (0.54 on the clip). He intends to retain the title for the next five years! He further warned Nigerian chess players that they would no longer represent the zone at the World Cup (1.30 on the clip). That spot now belongs to him!

Sponsors

Solway Mining Company was the corporate sponsor.  Others included, Hon. Emmanuel O. Sherman and LCF Secretary-General Emeritus Rev. Leroy Gibson, Sr.

Past and current Liberian National Champions pose for a photo. From left, former Champions James Stephen Tondo III , red cap FM Barcon Harmon, in the middle and2019 Liberia National Champion Thomas Saah Current Champion with medal round his neck.
Past and current Liberian National Champions pose for a photo. From left, former Champions James Stephen Tondo III , red cap FM Barcon Harmon, in the middle and2019 Liberia National Champion Thomas Saah Current Champion with medal round his neck.

Liberia Chess Federation’s next event is set for early 2020. It is dubbed ‘Rush to Russia’ which will be part of the 2020 Olympiad qualifiers.

The Liberia Chess Federation Super-Cup will take place after the qualifiers.

Poster for the 2019 Liberia National Chess Championship.
Poster for the 2019 Liberia National Chess Championship.

Interesting chess facts about Liberia

Liberia Chess Federation was set up in 2014.  The federation joined FIDE in 2016.

Liberia’s first Olympiad was the 2018 edition in Batumi.

The President of Liberia Chess Federation is William T Thompson.

Liberia’s top-ranked player is CM Anthony Waylea Jr with a FIDE rating of 2040.

Liberia has only 18 FIDE registered players. No ladies appear on the FIDE listing.

Jacob Jallah made Liberian history when he defeated IM Barros Ravidenerira of Ecuador at the 2018 Batumi OlympiadIM Barros Ravidenerira was rated 2345 while Jacob Jallah’s rating was only 1835.

Interesting facts about Liberia

Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonisation Society, who believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States.

The country declared its independence on 26th July 1847.

Liberia is the only African republic to have self-proclaimed independence without gaining independence from any other power. It is also Africa’s first and oldest modern republic.

Liberia has more ships registered under a flag of convenience than any other country except Panama.

About 12 per cent of the world’s ships fly the flag of Liberia.

Monrovia is the capital city of Liberia.

Christianopolis was the capital city of Liberia. The name changed later to Monrovia after James Monroe, a former president of the United States.

Links

Standings & Results of the 2019 Liberia National Chess Chess Championship.