IM ADU Oladapo Defends The West African Chess Championship
The Africa Zone 4.4 Individual Chess Championship is the first of four zonal chess championships, which helps to determine the Zonal Champions and offers an IM title plus $1000 cash reward for the champion, except the champion is already an IM, which was what happened last year. Last year's edition, hosted by Togo, was used to select a player from the West African region to represent at the Chess World Cup for the very first time. This was won by IM Adu Oladapo, who then participated at the Chess World Cup.
This year's edition proved to have a little interesting twist to it, as the Africa Confederation promised that if an IM should win again, then the IM gets a GM Norm, which was exactly what happened, as IM Adu Oladapo won the title again to qualify for a GM Norm!
After the tournament in Togo, which qualified the IM for the World Cup, he went on to face a daunting task in GM Veselin Topalov, who was then, the world number 2!
The 2016 edition of the Africa Zone 4.4 Individual Chess Championship held at the Tenko Plaza Hotel, Accra, Ghana, with good facilities within it's buildings and good food for the belly.
The tournament had top players from 7 different countries participating, with Nigeria and Ghana having the highest number of players (11) and Seirra Leone producing the least (1). The starting rank of the 32 players list is as follows:
The tournament kicked off with all but 2 Nigerians picking up victories against their respective opponents in the first round. Akinleye Akinseye and Toritsemuwa Ofowino (The West African lady tagged "the MAN BEATER") played against FM EBOSSE Kingue Victor Patrick and CM Oluwafemi Balogun of Cameroon and Nigeria respectively. The lady playing against the men was promised a Candidate Master (CM) title if she was able to get a total point of 4.5/9, which she fell short of by a mere point.
Round 2 pitted the two International Masters of the tournament, from Nigeria and Ghana, against eachother and it was a very interesting match, as both players gave their best to ensure the game ended a draw. The Nigerian had the upper hand, with pawns to his credit, but was unable to convert due to a wrong late rook move by the Nigerian and a last gap brilliant move by the Ghanaian, which made him hold for a 3-fold repetition draw.
Round 5 and 6 saw the Nigerian IM Adu Oladapo pick up wins over the top 2 players in the tournament, as 19 year old FM Anwuli Daniel and FM Kigigha Bomo, both of Nigeria, fell to the IM in Brilliant fashion. While Ofowino Toritsemuwa picked up her third point of the tournament against CM KAMARA Ansumana in round 5, IM Adu Oladapo defeated the highest rated player of the tournament FM Anwuli Daniel.
After the Blitz tournament, where the defending champion FM Bomo Kigigha was forced to participate in, despite his plea to not participate and prepare for the IM, CM Oluwafemi Balogun won on tie break overthe FM, both of Nigeria. Both tied with 8/9, in a keenly contested Blitz tournament, which the IM chose not to participate in.
Adu continued his dominance of the tournament by defeating FM Bomo Kigigha of Nigeria in the 6th Round (in the latter's most prized opening "The English"), losing a pawn on the 17th move to an unforced 16th move error, which was the beginning of the end.
After this round, the IM had to overcome another Nigerian in FM Balogun Oluwafemi in the 8th round, which ended in only his 2nd draw of the tournament and seemingly gave the IM the crown of West Africa's Best Chess Player!! It is also good to note that at 65 years of age, David Erhabor became the oldest chess player to obtain a fide title, which is the FM title!
Final Ranking after 9 Rounds
|8||9||MANAN Yoboue Hermann||CIV||2104||5,5||0,0||39,5||3,0||2124||9||20||17,8|
|9||14||IM||ANQUANDAH Francis Eric||GHA||1993||5,0||0,0||39,5||2,0||2046||8||20||25,6|
|10||10||FM||EBOSSE Kingue Victor Patrick||CMR||2047||5,0||0,0||38,0||3,0||1897||7||40||-4,4|
|11||6||FM||ONOVUGHE Ochuko Emmanuel||NGR||2166||5,0||0,0||33,5||2,0||1925||8||20||-32,2|
|12||15||CM||MENSAH Joseph Jamena||GHA||1980||5,0||0,0||29,5||2,0||1720||7||20||0,0|
|13||17||ADU JNR Lionel||GHA||1877||4,5||0,0||36,0||3,0||1755||5||40||11,6|
|14||16||CM||THOMPSON Edward Nii Lamptey||GHA||1890||4,5||0,0||33,0||1,0||1823||7||20||7,2|
|18||CM||EPHOEVI-GA Adama Mawulikplimi||TOG||1861||4,5||0,0||33,0||1,0||1870||8||40||17,6|
|16||27||ATTAH Elikem Kofi||GHA||0||4,5||0,0||31,5||3,0||1633||6|
|18||28||CHARLES Haji Kiadii||LBR||0||4,5||0,0||29,0||3,0||1767||8|
|23||7||FM||DEGONDO Simplice Armel||CIV||2140||4,0||0,0||37,5||3,0||1939||8||20||-21,2|
|29||23||ARKO-DADZIE George Kweku||GHA||1560||3,0||0,0||24,0||2,0||1210||4||20||10,8|
|30||25||BODJONA Abalou Bitchareou||TOG||1370||2,0||0,0||26,5||0,0||1309||6||40||4,4|
|31||32||TANDOH Charles Raymond Appiah||GHA||0||1,5||0,0||24,0||1,0||1160||6|
|32||24||AYIKU Angela Naa Amerley||GHA||1523||0,0||0,0||25,0||0,0||628||5||40||-58,8|