Gong Thon Gong has won the second stage of the South Sudan Olympiad Qualifiers event with 7.5 points out of 9 rounds. His only loss was in round 8 to Joseph Riak Deng, while in round 9 in drew against Aluong Chol Akoy.
The second stage of the Olympiad Qualifier ran from 20th to 26th April 2022 and saw ten wildcards join the top forty players from the first stage.
Peter Majur Manyang v Gong Thon Gong
Gong Thon Gong v Agook Madol Agook
James Panchol – Kenyan based player
Kenyan based James Panchol was also one of the hopefuls trying to get into the final stage of this shark-infested event where an unrated player can easily down a +2200 player! James Panchol’s last round game was against Rehan Deng Cypriano, one of South Sudan’s top players with two Olympiad appearances.
A victory for either player would give them a slot in the final phase. Rehan Deng Cypriano was able to extra the win and grab a place in the final stage. An extract of the game is shown below.
James Panchol v Rehan Deng Cypriano
James Panchol v Michael Ajak Gai
The first stage ran from 9th to 16th April 2022, with just over 120 participants. Gong Thon Gong was dominant in the first phase with 9 points out of 9 rounds!
The third phase will commence on the 10th and will run until 18th May 2022, with the top twelve players taking part.
The qualification process for the South Sudanese team is a fair system as it gives many unrated players a chance to grab a slot in the squad. However, it takes a toll on the final team as it would mean that they would have played 29 rounds within five weeks!
Another interesting observation is that three players who made it into the final phase do not have a FIDE rating.
The arbitration team had arbiters from South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.