8th All-Africa Games (chess - men): Abuja 2003

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[ Basic data | Tournament review | Individual medals | Interesting games ]

Basic data

8th All-Africa Games (chess - men)
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 5th - 12th October 2003
City: Abuja, Nigeria
Venue: Agura Hotel
Tournament Director: N/A
Chief Arbiter: N/A
Teams participating: 11 (Sierra Leone did not arrive)
Players participating: 64 (incl. 15 IMs and 3 FMs)
Games played: 220 (4 games were forfeited)
Competition format: Four board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points
Time control: all moves in 25 minutes + 10 sec. increment per move
Official logo: Abuja 2003
Official Website: http://www.8allafricagames.org (cached)
Other Websites: The Chess Drum
Downloadable game file: 03afrtch.zip

Tournament review

Eleven teams entered men's chess contest at 8th All-Africa Games held in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. Sierra Leone, team #12 attempted to field a team but had to withdraw when only two players registered. The event was active time control event. Egypt, the solid team of International Masters were clear favourites for gold. Other tournament big wigs were Zambia led by ebullient IM Simutowe and Nigeria, the hosts, who did not field the strongest squad though. Other potentially strong team, South Africa, were missing Kobese and Michelakis.

Egypt held the lead throughout and coasted to a gold medal performance with 31½ game points. They were by far the best team in the field and despite unexpected loss to Algeria conceded in round 8 their advantage rose to such an extend they could generously drop four game points in last two rounds. IM Fouad El Taher, the continent's 2nd highest-rated player won the gold on board #1 with 5½/6. Algeria clearly took the silver with 28½ points and the score was contributed mainly by A. Arab (8/9 and performed ELO 2562!), Haddouche and Belkacem (both 100% scores!). Team's overall performed Elo was superior to pre-tournament expectations by over 100 points. Zambia took third place and Simutowe won seven games in a row after poor take off. Zambia only lost to Egypt, halved vs Algeria and won the rest of the matches. Other golden performances were turned in by Nigerians IM Aikhoje on board #2 with 5½/6 and Bunmi Olape on board #3 with 6/7. Khaled Ben Nasser of Libya scored a perfect 7/7 on board 6 but this was first of all derivative of Libya's constant strategy of putting best players at lowest boards. IM Pedro Aderito of Angola scored 7/9 for a bronze on board #1.

One surprise came from Côte d'Ivoire (as The Ivory Coast is officially referred to) playing in their first international tournament. Francophone African countries are known more for their skills in 10x10 draughts than chess. However, Ivorian Simplice De Gondo created a stir by defeating Angola's IM Eugenio Campos and Zambia's Stanley Chumfwa, the two master level players. De Gondo's teammate Augustine Konan defeated Algeria's IM Kamel Sebih, who lost a piece in the opening and disgracefully made the Ivorian promote to two Queens and a Rook before getting mated. Côte d'Ivoire's only win came at the expense of Portuguese-speaking São Tomé e Principe who also made their international debut.

The African chess society soon mourned the death of two members of Egyptian staff: first reserve player IM Esam Aly Ahmed and team director Mohammed Labib who died at the end of October of cerebral malaria incorrectly diagnosed in Egypt after becoming ill.

/ Based on notes by Daaim Shabazz /

Individual medals

bd name flag code pts gms %
1. IM El-Taher, Fouad Egypt EGY 6 91.7
2. IM Aikhoje, Odion Nigeria NGR 6 91.7
3. Olape, Bunmi Nigeria NGR 6 7 85.7
4. Haddouche, Mohamed Algeria ALG 6 6 100.0
1 res. Belkacem, Krim Algeria ALG 5 5 100.0
2 res. FM Ben Nasser, Khaled Libya LBA 7 7 100.0

Interesting games

Mostly intriguing battle of two of Africa's top players.
Simutowe, Amon (ZAM) - El Taher, Fouad (EGY) 0 - 1

White quickly destroyed Black's Queenside.
Adu, Oladapo (NGR) - Abera, Yimam (ETH) 1 - 0

Centralised Black Knight was active unlike White Bishop.
Adly, Ahmed (EGY) - Aikhoje, Odion (NGR) 0 - 1

A game with plenty of turnovers including non-standard trades
and triple repetition ommitted by both players.
Kebede, Abebaw (ETH) - Sebih, Kamel (ALG) 0 - 1

Bxh7+ is not uncommon shot but is hardly ever seen as file cleaner for a Rook!
Arab, Adlane (ALG) - Chumfwa, Stanley (ZAM) 1 - 0

White pieces were almost totally cramped.
Arab, Adlane (ALG) - Aikhoje, Odion (NGR) 0 - 1

Quite creative nice tactics was a core of a win.
Masango, Spencer (ZIM) - El Gindy, Essam (EGY) 0 - 1

Black pawn seemingly tied White's position but it proved not enough.
De Gondo, Simplice (CIV) - Chumfwa, Stanley (ZAM) 1 - 0

Another sensational win by gutsy Ivorian.
De Gondo, Simplice (CIV) - Campos, Eugenio (ANG) 1 - 0