Mahad Dahir Muhumad crowned 2023 Somalia Chess Champion
Mahad Dahir Muhumad is the 2023 winner of the 2023 Somalia Chess Championship. He beat a strong field of 18 players to take the title with seven points out of the nine-round contest. Mahad Dahir Muhumad took home USD 300 as his prize money and a glittering trophy.
Ali Abdullahi Afarah scored seven points but had a lower tie-break to take the runners-up slot and go home with USD 200.
Abdirahman Omar Sh Alimow scored 6.5 points to take third place and USD 100 as prize money.
It is interesting to note that this was Somalia’s first-ever chess championship for the national title. The event, which ran from 5th to 14th November, saw the contestants battle for the national title with a time control of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds. The venue was the Hilaac UK Hotel in downtown Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
Chess Facts about Somalia
The Somalia Chess Federation was registered in 1987, and Hassan Ahmed Abdi is the current president.
Jimale Abdulle Mohamed and Mohamud Abukar Mhuhyadin are Somalia’s top-rated players, with an Elo rating of 2200.
The federation has 146 registered players, according to the FIDE website.
Somalia has participated in four Olympiads (2002, 2016, 2108 and 2022).
Interesting facts about Somalia
Somalia has the longest coastline in mainland Africa, almost 3,025 km.
It has one of the highest fertility rates in the world. On average, a woman in Somalia will give birth to six children.
Madagascar got its name from Mogadishu. Legend has it that the Venetian Merchant Marco Polo mistakenly confused Madagascar with Mogadishu. He arrived in Madagascar and thought he had arrived in Mogadishu, and then he misspelt it, leading to Madagascar as we know it.
While most African countries have ethnically diverse populations, Somalia is one of the most ethnically homogeneous nations. 85% of the country’s population comprises of ethnic Somalis.
The official language of Somalia is Somali, which is a Cushitic language. English and Arabic are also widely spoken and understood.
The Laas Geel Rock Art site in Somalia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features vibrant cave paintings dating back over 5,000 years, depicting everyday life and wildlife scenes.
The national flag of Somalia consists of a blue background with a white star in the centre. The blue represents the sky and the Indian Ocean, while the white star symbolizes unity and progress.
Mogadishu is the capital and largest city of Somalia.
Article by Kenya Chess Masala.