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2024 Somalia Chess Championship

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2024 Somalia Chess Championship

The 2024 Somalia Chess Championship, which ran from 18th to 26th  May, saw Abdulkadir Mohamed Warsame crowned as the champion.  He won the event with seven points out of the nine rounds.

Rushdi Rmadhan Abdow was second with 6.5 points.  Abdulrahman Omar Sheikh, CM Ali Abdullahi Farah and No Mohamed Ahmed all tied with six points and qualified for the Olympiad team.

The event, hosted by Hotel Shamow in downtown Mogadishu, saw 18 contestants battle over nine gruelling rounds.  The championship crown and slots for the Olympiad team for the top five players were at stake.

Abdulkadir Mohamed Warsame (right) receiving his winner’s trophy & medal from Abdirahim, Director General of the Ministry of Sports.
Abdulkadir Mohamed Warsame (right) receiving his winner’s trophy & medal from Abdirahim, Director General of the Ministry of Sports. Photo credits: Aweys Cabdicasiis Aweys.

2024 Somalia Ladies Chess Championship

The 2024 Somalia Women’s National Championship took place on the 30th and 31st of May. It was played as a seven-round Swiss System with time controls of 25 minutes per player with a 10-second increment from move one.

Veteran Olympian Sabarin Mohamed Ali (1519) performed impressively in the event, remaining unbeaten. She secured four victories and three draws, finishing as the clear winner with 5.5/7 points and earning the title of Somalia Women’s National Champion 2024.

The top-seeded player, Samiro Mohamed Ali (1523), took the second position with 5/7 points, following two draws and one loss.

Sabarin Mohamed Ali (right) receiving her winner’s trophy & medal from Abdulkadir Nor Mohamud, Tournament Director and Deputy General Secretary and International Relations for The Somalia Chess Federation.
Sabarin Mohamed Ali (right) receiving her winner’s trophy & medal from Abdulkadir Nor Mohamud, Tournament Director and Deputy General Secretary and International Relations for The Somalia Chess Federation. Photo credits: Aweys Cabdicasiis Aweys.
Somalia Women Olympiad Team. From left: Muniro Hussein Ismail, Samiro Mohamed Ali, Sabarin Mohamed Ali (Champion), Maria Ali Jimale Ali & Salma Abdi Hassan.
Somalia Women Olympiad Team. From left: Muniro Hussein Ismail, Samiro Mohamed Ali, Sabarin Mohamed Ali (Champion), Maria Ali Jimale Ali & Salma Abdi Hassan. Photo credits: Aweys Cabdicasiis Aweys.

The Kenyan connection

Duke Michieka, a well-known International Arbiter from Kenya, not only added some international flavour to this event but also played a crucial role in its organisation. His expertise and experience were invaluable, making him the first Kenyan arbiter to assist in a Somali event.

IA Duke Michieka receiving an award from Hassan Ahmed Abdi - President Somalia Chess Federation.
IA Duke Michieka receiving an award from Hassan Ahmed Abdi – President Somalia Chess Federation. Photo credits: Aweys Cabdicasiis Aweys.

Game Corner

Event details

The event kicked off with an Open Section that attracted a total of twelve unrated players, of which the top five players would join the elite FIDE Rated Open Qualifiers composed of thirteen players.

The Open Section was a seven-round Swiss System with rapid time controls of 25 minutes + 10 seconds increment from move one. The event ran from 16th to 17th May 2024.

After its conclusion, the top five players joined the elite FIDE Rated Open Qualifiers, making up a total of eighteen players. This elite section was a nine-round event from the 18th to the 26th of May, 2024. The time control was 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment from move one.  The final phase acted as the Somalia Open Chess Championship.

Proud winners of the 2024 Somalia National Chess Championship. Photo credits: Aweys Cabdicasiis Aweys.
Winners and officials pose for a group photo.
Winners and officials pose for a group photo. Photo credits: Aweys Cabdicasiis Aweys.
The playing hall.
The playing hall. Photo credits: Aweys Cabdicasiis Aweys.
Mohamud, Hussein Ali
Mohamud, Hussein Ali Photo credits: Aweys Cabdicasiis Aweys.

Chess Facts about Somalia

The Somali Chess Federation was registered in 1987 and is a member of Zone 4.4, the same as Kenya.

Ahmed Abdi Hassan is the current President of the federation.

Somalia has participated in four Olympiads, the first one in 2002, followed by 2016, 2018, and 2022.

Somalia has only six registered FIDE players.  All have FIDE ratings, with Abdirahman Omar Sheikh having the highest rating in 1990.

Logo of the Somalia Chess Federation.
Logo of the Somalia Chess Federation.

Interesting facts about Somalia

Somalia has a unique and complex history.  It was colonised by Italy, France, and Britain, each establishing its own territory—Italian Somaliland, French Somaliland, and British Somaliland, respectively.

Immediately before independence, French Somaliland held a Referendum on whether to secede or join the larger federal republic of Somalia.

France largely rigged the Referendum in favor of secession.  The Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland combined to form the Federal Republic of Somalia, which culminated in Independence on July 1, 1960, with Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as its first president.  French Somaliland renamed itself Djibouti.

Somalia, a country with a rich cultural heritage, formed part of Punt, an ancient region of Africa known as the ‘land of aromatics and incense’.  This region, mentioned in ancient Egyptian and Greek scripts, is a testament to Somalia’s historical significance and its contributions to the ancient world.

Men from Punt Carrying Gifts, Tomb of Rekhmire
Men from Punt Carrying Gifts, Tomb of Rekhmire. Photo credit www.kiddle.co.

Somali people are highly entrepreneurial. Wherever they find peace, they quickly establish business and flourish.  A successful Somali business community exists in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Scandinavia, Britain and the USA.  Somalis are extremely resilient people.

The Somali coastline is the longest in Africa, stretching north to the southwest over 3,025 kilometers.

Somalia coastline.

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.

The Somali flag.

Mogadishu fun fact

The capital city of Somalia is Mogadishu, which inspired Madagascar’s name.  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, but then he misspelled it, leading to Madagascar as we know it.

Prior to the civil war, Mogadishu was known as the ‘White pearl of the Indian Ocean.

Central Mogadishu in 1936. Arba Rucun mosque to the centre right.
Central Mogadishu in 1936. Arba Rucun mosque to the centre right. Photo credit www.kiddle.co.

Links

2024 Somalia Chess Championship on www.chess-results.com.

2024 Somalia Chess Championship on www.lichess.org.

Mahad Dahir Muhumad crowned 2023 Somalia Chess Champion.

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