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The Baku Chess Olympiad: Africans In View

The Baku Chess Olympiad: Africans In View

thims
Aug 23, 2016, 3:09 AM 3

With less than 10 days to the start of the Baku chess Olympiad, Chess.com Africa looks at the top African teams and what they bring to the brilliance and success of the 2016 Chess Olympiad.

The top 7 chess playing countries in Africa according to the fide website are: Egypt (47), Algeria (68), Tunisia (74), South Africa (78), Morocco (80), Zambia (84) and Nigeria (87). But according to the players representing the African teams, submitted to the Baku Chess organizing committee, the top 5 African countries are as follows: Egypt (40), Zambia (74), South Africa (76), Nigeria (78), and Algeria (80) with Tunisia not registered. Below are the teams and their representatives.

EGYPT

GM Amin Bassem - 2654

GM Adly Ahmed - 2603

GM Shoker Samy - 2492

IM Fawzy Adham - 2440

IM Ameir Moheb - 2431

 

ZAMBIA

FM Kayonde Andrew - 2422

IM Jere Daniel - 2370

IM Phiri Richmond - 2342

IM Mwali chitumbo - 2326

IM Chumfwa kelvin - 2240

 

SOUTH AFRICA

GM Solomon Kenny - 2380

IM Cawdry Daniel - 2416

IM Kobese Watu - 2350

IM Van den Heever Donovan - 2247

FM Klaasen Calvin Jong - 2177

 

NIGERIA

FM Kigigha Bomo - 2340

FM Anwuli Daniel - 2336

IM Adu Oladapo - 2334

CM Adesina Adeyinka - 2259

Emuakpeje Ochuko - 2272

 

ALGERIA

IM Arab Adlane - 2493

FM Bengherabi Khalil - 2241

FM Oussedik Mahfoud - 2280

Talbi Chafik - 2184

IM Belouadah Saad – 2340

 

The countries will be looked at, one after the other to show how they match up to the strength of other countries.

Today, we take a look at the number 1 chess playing country in Africa,

EGYPT:

Egypt has proven over time to be the very best African chess playing country over time, considering their vast knowledge and their history. But chess is now way past history and more about the training right, it is no more about how many books you own and study, but about how well you understand how to use that knowledge right on the board of play (proving your ideas), it is no more about the chess encyclopedia but about the engines and how best individuals use them.

Besides all these, Egypt has continually dominated African chess as evident in the last African Individual Chess Championships, where Egypt left with 6 Gold Medals, producing another grandmaster in the process.

Picture from the Egyptian Chess Federation Facebook page

phpI7F5vN.jpegAlthough, other top African countries are stepping up as evident by the Zambian's performances at different tournaments and South Africa's chess programs amongst others, the investment of the Egyptian Chess Federation keeps showing the difference.

THE PLAYERS:

GM Amin Bassem - 2654

GM Adly Ahmed - 2603

GM Shoker Samy - 2492

IM Fawzy Adham - 2440

IM Ameir Moheb - 2431

If the African Individual Chess Championships held before the month of June, then probably the new grandmaster elect Hesham Abdelrahman would have joined the team after winning the tournament out-rightly, defeating Egypt’s African number 2 and the highest rated player of the tournament GM Adly Ahmed.

However, this team is a strong team, with Africa’s number 1 and 2 in the team, and the youngest IM of the continent. It will be a very interesting Olympiad this year at Baku, Azerbaijan.

 

GM Amin Bassem:

He has been the best Arabian chess player this year ahead of GM Salem Saleh, claiming all trophies in the region, and was the first African to qualify for the 2nd round of the World Cup, after every other African fell last year in Baku. He had a very impressive 8.5/11 points at the last Olympiad in Tromso and would certainly be hoping to build on that.

Picture from the Egyptian Chess Federation Facebook page

phprTMm51.jpeg 

GM Adly Ahmed:

At the 2015 African Individual Chess Championship and this year’s event, he finished 2nd behind GM Amin Bassem and 3rd behind highly improved FM Andrew Kayonde (on tie breaks) of Zambia and IM Hesham Abdelrahman (clear 1st) of Egypt, respectively. He has been consistently at the top, and behind GM Amin, but would be hoping to get more rounded in his games during the Olympiad and drive home very important points for the Egyptian team. Played on board 3 at the last Olympiad in Tromso, but with much improvement, has been moved up to board 2 ahead of the Tal-like attacking Shoker, and would be hoping to seal his place by giving a strong performance at the Baku Chess Olympiad.

Picture from the Egyptian Chess Federation Facebook page

phpbXHO9h.jpeg

GM Shoker Samy:

Born in 1987, GM Samy Shoker has shocked many with his understanding of our dear sport and his attacking prowess (giving him the name “The Arabian Tal”), bagging his FM title at the age of 17, his IM title, 2 years later at the age of 19 and finally bagged his GM title at the age of 27, in the year 2014. Currently ranked number 5 in Africa and number 3 in Egypt, he has always been a force to reckon with in Africa, but fell at the hands of both his countryman GM Adly Ahmed and Algeria’s Arab Adlane at the Africa Individual Chess Championship 2016. He played on board 2 at the Tromso Olympiad, but will now occupy board 3 in Baku and would be looking to improve on his 4.5/9 performance, where he lost 13 rating points and could only muster wins against 2100s, 2200s, and 2300s.

Picture from the Egyptian Chess Federation Facebook page

 phpI2kUkg.jpeg

IM Fawzy Adham:

The first time he would be representing his country at the Olympiad. IM Fawzy Adham picked up his FM title at the African Youth (Under 12) Chess Championship, Lusaka, Zambia at the young age of 11 (in 2012). In October 2015, he picked up his IM title, at the age of 15 (the youngest in Africa) at the 1st Arab Chess Olympiad, Under 18 category.

Would be quite interesting to see what the young player would bring to the table, considering he is favored ahead of IM Ezat Mohammed and IM Hesham Abdulrahman, who both have more experience and probable prowess in conversion against top players than Fawzy.

Picture from the Egyptian Chess Federation Facebook page

php8vDpn1.jpeg

IM Ameir Moheb:

Born in 1993, Ameir picked up his CM title in 2009, at the African Youth Chess Championship (under 18 category), his FM title a year later at the Arab World Chess Championships (Under 18 category). But, he had to wait another 3 years before getting his IM title in 2013, at the Arab Open Under 20 Chess Champioships. His rise to African chess prominence (as that of IM Fawzy) has made young Africans believe that they too can achieve stardom, with the right plan, training and dedication.

Picture from the Egyptian Chess Federation Facebook page

phpOYd8Lw.jpeg

Also favored ahead of the vastly experienced top Egyptian chess players for the Baku Chess Olympiad, makes this team a team to watch out for this year.

According to information gathered, GM Shoker would most likely not be able to make it to the Baku Chess Olympiad this year, leaving an opening for the newest African Grandmaster, GM Hesham Abdelrahman,

Picture from the Hesham's Facebook page

phpL2ovrx.jpegwho has been in a very fine form, and this is subject to some rigorous leave appeal to the Egyptian Army. It will be a good event if he is granted the leave and we see him in action at the Olympiad this year.

 

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