IM Alina L’ami wins Besa Masaiti WIM Norm Chess Championship
IM Alina L’ami from Romania emerged victorious, winning the inaugural Besa Masaiti WIM Norm Chess Tournament held at Cresta Lodge in Gaborone, Botswana. The tournament, which ran for seven days, ended on Christmas Eve.
WIM Anna Kubicka from Poland won the silver, while her compatriot WIM Alicja Sliwicka, claimed the bronze. The three players finished on 7.5 points and pocketed BWP 10,000 (USD 800) each.
IM Nino Maisuradze from France finished the competition in position four, which carried a cash prize of BWP6,000, 000 and Mongolian WFM Uyanga Byambaa clinched position five with an award of BWP4,000.
WIM Jesse February from South Africa took home BWP 3,000 after finishing position six.
The Nigerian Champion, Deborah Quickpen, aged 11 years, shared the spoils with WFM Besa Masaiti, and they were both rewarded with BWP 1,750. WIM Onkemetse Mendu Francis and WFM Naledi Marape each received a BWP 1,000 reward.
The tournament director, Charles Masaiti, confirmed that the event had live transmission of the games, which was also an opportunity to market Botswana as a tourist destination. However, highlighting some of the challenges, Masaiti said they needed to secure more sponsors for the tournament.
Interestingly, IM Alina L’ami is a renowned chess blogger and intrepid traveller who has participated in other African events in Tanzania and Madagascar.
Readers will recall the article about WFM Uyanga Byambaa snatching a draw from a lost position against Dr Victor Ng’ani during the 65th Nairobi Chess Club Championship held in August 2023. You can read all about the story here.
We have some fascinating games from the event including a King Walk and mate with a Knight.
Other event details
Article by Kenya Chess Masala.