Home Chess News African chess stars begin their campaign in the Grand Swiss Tournament

African chess stars begin their campaign in the Grand Swiss Tournament

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African chess stars begin their campaign in the 2021 FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Tournament

African chess stars have begun their campaign in the 2021 FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Tournament, and the Women’s Grand Swiss are taking place in Riga, the historic capital city in Latvia. The events run from 25th October to 8th November 2021.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich makes the symbolic first move in the game between GM Fabiano Caruana and GM Chigaev Maksim of Russia.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich makes the symbolic first move in the game between GM Fabiano Caruana and GM Chigaev Maksim of Russia.

Both tournaments are part of the qualifications for the 2021-23 World Championship Cycle. The top two players in the Open event will qualify for the 2022 Candidates Tournament, and the following six will secure spots in the Grand Prix

The Women’s Grand Swiss winner will qualify directly for the Women Candidates, and the four best players will be eligible for the following year’s Women’s Grand Prix.

The playing hall of the 2021 FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Tournament, and the Women's Grand Swiss.
The playing hall of the 2021 FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Tournament, and the Women’s Grand Swiss.

African chess stars including IM Fy Antenaina Rakotomaharo of Madagascar, GM Adly Ahmed of Egypt WIM Jesse February of South Africa who are the continent’s representatives in these two notable events.

WIM Jesse February is the 2021 African Individual Chess Champion.

Round 1 & 2 results

One of the African chess stars - IM Fy Antenaina Rakotomaharo of Madagascar.
One of the African chess stars – IM Fy Antenaina Rakotomaharo of Madagascar.

Fy Antenaina Rakotomaharo lost to D Gukesh of India in round 1 and then to GM Alan Pichot of Argentina.

Fy Antenaina Rakotomaharo v Alan Pichot

GM Adly Ahmed squeezed a draw from GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov of Russia before crashing to GM Alexei Shirov of Spain. An interesting observation is that GM Alexei Shirov was born in Riga, Latvia, before moving to Spain.

GM Adly Ahmed v GM Aleksandr Rakhamov

GM Alexei Shirov v GM Adly Ahmed

GM Alexei Shirov (left) taken GM Adly Ahmed of Egypt in their round 2 encounter.
GM Alexei Shirov (left) taken GM Adly Ahmed of Egypt in their round 2 encounter.

Women’s Grand Swiss

WGM Monika Socko of Poland takes on WIM Jesse February of South Africa.
WGM Monika Socko of Poland takes on WIM Jesse February of South Africa.

WIM Jesse February who is the 2021 Africa Individual Chess Champion found the going tough with losses to WGM Vaishali R of India in round one and WGM Monika Socko of Poland in round two. Both of these Grandmasters had a rating of over 500 Elo points above WIM Jesse February.

WIM Jesse February – R Vaishali

Chess players chilling by playing more chess!
Chess players chilling by playing more chess!

Facts about Riga

A monument in the city of Riga in memory of the 8th World Chess Champion Mikhail Tal.
A monument in the city of Riga in memory of the 8th World Chess Champion Mikhail Tal.

The city of Riga is the birthplace of the 8th World Chess Champion Mikhail Tal.

Bobby Fischer vs Mikhail Tal at the 1960 Leipzig Chess Olympiad. Photo credit kiddle.co
Bobby Fischer vs Mikhail Tal at the 1960 Leipzig Chess Olympiad. Photo credit kiddle.co

Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former Hanseatic League member.

The Daugava River separates the Riga city into Vecriga (Old Riga) and Pardaugava.

Since antiquity, the Daugava River has been a trade route, part of the Vikings’ Dvina-Dnieper navigation route to Byzantium.

Other event details

The event has eleven rounds under the Swiss System, with 164 players participating from all continents. The Grand Swiss has 114 and the Women’s Grand Swiss has 50 players.

The average rating of the players in the Grand Swiss is 2647, making this the strongest Swiss-system chess tournament in the world.

The total prize fund is USD 550,000, with USD 425,000 for the Grand Swiss and USD 125,000 for the Women’s Grand Swiss.

All Photo credits – Anna Shtourman and Mark Livshitz.

Links

Official website of 2021 FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Tournament & the Women’s Grand Swiss.

WIM Jesse February is the 2021 African Individual Chess Champion.

IM Fy Rakotomaharo is the King of Zone 4.3.

GM Adly Ahmed Crowned Champion of Africa.