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Ajibola Olanrewaju Wins Zone 4.2 Chess Championship

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Ajibola Olanrewaju Wins Zone 4.2 Chess Championship

Ajibola Olanrewaju of Nigeria is the proud winner of the Zone 4.2 Individual Open Chess Championship. He led a Nigerian sweep of the medals with an impressive 8.5 points out of 9 rounds with only one draw.

IM Adu Oladapo (7.5 points) and FM Oragwu Chukwunonso (7 points) both of Nigeria ended in 2nd and third place respectively.  

IA Béchir Messaoudi (left) congratulates Ajibola Olanrewaju who won all 3 sections of the Zone 4.2 Chess Championship. Photo credit Mario Kpan.
IA Béchir Messaoudi (left) congratulates Ajibola Olanrewaju who won all 3 sections of the Zone 4.2 Chess Championship. Photo credit Mario Kpan.

Ajibola Olanrewaju achieved a rare feat during an African continental event when he won the Rapid and Blitz edition as well. In the Rapid section, he scored 6.5 points out of 7 rounds.   

FM Harmon Barcon of Liberia was second with 6 points. Thomas Saah, who is the Liberian National Chess Champion, was joint third with FM Oragwu Chukwunonso with 5 points each.

Russian national Ms Nadezda Marochkina from Russia but playing for Senegal was unrated at the start of the event. She ended up in joint fourth place in the Rapid section and even held eventual winner Ajibola Olanrewaju to a draw in round 6!

Ms Nadezda Marochkina from Russia but playing for Senegal shakes hands with tournament winner Ajibola Olanrewaju during their encounter in the Rapid Section which ended in a draw. Photo credit Ms Nadezda Marochkina.
Ms Nadezda Marochkina from Russia but playing for Senegal shakes hands with tournament winner Ajibola Olanrewaju during their encounter in the Rapid Section which ended in a draw. Photo credit Ms Nadezda Marochkina.

Ajibola Olanrewaju in the Blitz section was dominant when he finished with a perfect score of 9/9. 

FM Chukwunonso Oragwu of Nigeria and FM Harmon Barcon of Liberia each with 7 points were a distant second. 

The event which ran from 15th to 21st March 2020 in Freetown Sierra Leone had 29 players from 5 federations.

Players from Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and the hosts Sierra-Leone took part.

International Master (IM)

Olanrewaju also earned himself the coveted direct title of International Master (IM) after winning the Open Section. This win also guarantees him a spot and sponsorship at the 2020 African Individual Chess Championships.  The event is scheduled to take place in Lekki City, Lagos State, Nigeria.

Ajibola Olanrewaju v Ansumana Kamara

Adu Oladapo (NGR) takes on Simplice Degondo (CIV). Photo credit Mario Kpan.
Adu Oladapo (NGR) takes on Simplice Degondo (CIV). Photo credit Mario Kpan.
Adu Oladapo v Harmon Barcon

Corona Virus

The ugly spectre of the CV19 pandemic which has been ravaging the world, unfortunately, came to haunt this event as well.

The Senegalese authorities had announced the closure of their airports to contain the pandemic. It meant that the players from Senegal had to leave after round 5.

New Zonal Structures for Africa

The Zone 4.2 Individual Open Chess Championship was the first event held under the new New Zonal Structure for Africa.

New Zonal structure for Africa.
New Zonal structure for Africa.

 

Nadezda Marochkina v James Tondo

Participants of the Zone 4.2 pose for a group photo.Photo credit Mario Kpan.
Participants of the Zone 4.2 pose for a group photo. Photo credit Mario Kpan.
Final standing of the Open section.
Final standing of the Open section.

Chess facts about Sierra Leone

The Chess Federation of Sierra Leone was registered in 2005 and joined FIDE in the same year.

The country has take part in three Olympiads.  These include the 2010, 2012 and the 2018 editions.

CM Ansumana Kamara is Sierra Leone’s highest ranked player with an Elo rating of 1918.

CM Ronald Lwebuga is the 2nd ranked player at 1818.  The interesting thing is that CM Lwebuga was born in Uganda but switched to the Sierra Leone federation in 2011.  He obtained his CM title when he scored 5 points out of 9 rounds during the 2015 Zone 4.4 Championship held in Lome, Togo.

Sierra Leone has only three FIDE rated players!

Interesting facts about Sierra Leone

Capital city

The capital city is Freetown which was settled in 1792 by freed slaves from the United States.

View of Freetown. Photo credit https://kids.kiddle.co/Freetown
View of Freetown. Photo credit https://kids.kiddle.co/Freetown
Sierra Leone Means “Roaring Mountains”

Sierra Leone acquired its name thanks to Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra. In 1462, he sailed into what is now the Freetown Peninsula. The story goes that during his time in this part of the African continent, da Cintra encountered an intense thunderstorm and came to associate the area’s mountainous terrain with the roar of a lion. Thus the explorer named the region “Sierra Lyoa” which translates to “Roaring mountains” or “Lion Mountains” in native Portuguese.

Achatina achatina

A giant snail called the Ghana Snail (or Achatina achatina) is found in Sierra Leone. This native snail species routinely measures about 7 inches long and 3.5 inches wide but can reach a size of almost twelve by six inches.  

The Ancient Cotton Tree Of Freetown Is World-famous

One of the most historic and well-known symbols of Freetown is the Cotton Tree. It’s believed that in 1792 a group of ex-slaves from America, settled in Freetown and gathered around the giant cotton tree to pray for gaining their freedom. 

The Cotton Tree is not only the oldest such tree in Freetown, but experts also believe that it may be the world’s oldest one. 

The Cotton Tree of Freetown. Photo credit https://kids.kiddle.co/Freetown
The Cotton Tree of Freetown. Photo credit https://kids.kiddle.co/Freetown
Queen Elizabeth II Quay

It has the largest natural port in the African region. All passing ships dock in Queen Elizabeth II Quay located in Freetown. It can accommodate all kinds of sea vessels, even the biggest ones, travelling to this part of the world.

Links

Standings & Results of the 2020 Zone 4.2 Chess Championship.

PGNs from the Zone 4.2 Chess Championship.

2020 Zone 4.2 Individual Chess Championship Invitation.