The 2016 Africa Zone 4.3 Individual Chess Championships tournament was held at Hotels RIU Le Morne and RIU Creole in Le Morne, Mauritius from 23rd April to 1st May. Organised by Mauritius Chess Federation under the auspices of African Chess Confederation and FIDE, the tournament attracted a total of 26 players from 5 federations (Angola, Botswana, Madagascar, Mauritius and South Africa). Titled players included 2 IMs, 1 FM, 4 CMs, 2 WIMs, 1 WFM and 2 WCMs. All players except for 4 Mauritians had FIDE ratings.

The arbitration team was led by IA Stephen Kisuze (Uganda) who was assisted by FA Paras Gudka (Kenya), FA Ronald Raimbert (Mauritius) and NA Koomaren Bhowany (Mauritius).

The tournament, split into Open and Ladies categories, was a 9-round event. The Open category was a Swiss system event whereas the Ladies category was a round-robin event. Tournament venues alternated between 'Kulinarium' restaurant at RIU Le Morne and 'Bangalore' restaurant at RIU Creole, both offering spectacular views of the beach and ocean.

In the Open category, highest rated player IM David Silva from Angola (2342) found himself clambering hard for a top 3 finish but could only achieve a high point of position 3 after the second round, ultimately finishing in fifth place after 9 rounds. Untitled player Ryan Van Rensburg from South Africa (2178) was the surprise package of the tournament maintaining the lead from after the third round and never relinquishing it to the other players for the rest of the event. His brilliant performance saw him win the tournament outright with 7 points for which he received USD 1,000 cash, memorabilia from the sponsor Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) and the highly coveted title of International Master.

Following Ryan in second place was IM Erikson Soares from Angola (2265) whose only defeat came at the hands of fellow Angolan IM David Silva in the seventh round in a beautifully played endgame by the latter. In joint third place and eligible for the remaining prizes with 6 points each were Angolan players Paulino Domingos (2178), CM Manuel Alberto (2195) and IM David Silva (2342). The highest rated and best-performing Mauritian player FM Roy Phillips (2223) also finished joint third with 6 points.

In the Ladies category, highest rated player WFM Jesse February from South Africa (1891) survived two scares from fellow South African players WCM Sonia Modi and WCM Inge Marx in the fifth and seventh rounds respectively to win the tournament with 8 points on a better tie-break score against WIM Anzel Laubscher. Jesse received USD 500 cash, MCB memorabilia and an upgraded title of WIM for her efforts. Hot on her heels was her room-mate from South Africa WIM Anzel Laubscher (1851) who finished in second place also on 8 points having earlier lost to Jesse in the second round. The final prize in this category was scooped up by WCM Inge Marx from South Africa (1546) who finished in third place with 7 points, half a point ahead of her nearest rival WIM Onkemetse Francis from Botswana (1804).

The other players who automatically qualified for new/upgraded titles from this tournament were: Paulino Domingos – FIDE Master; CM Manuel Alberto – FIDE Master and Milanto Ralison (Madagascar) – Candidate Master.

Prize winners:

Open Category:

Winner - Ryan Van Rensburg 7 pts (South Africa)

Second Place - IM Erikson Soares 6.5 pts (Angola)

Third Place - Paulino Domingos 6 pts (Angola)

Fourth Place - CM Manuel Alberto 6 pts (Angola)

Fifth Place - .IM David Silva 6 pts (Angola)

Ladies Category:

Winner - WFM Jesse February 8 pts (South Africa)

Second Place - WIM Anzel Laubscher 8 pts (South Africa)

Third Place - WCM Inge Marx 7 pts (South Africa)

 

 

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