After hosting a very successful Zone 4.2 Individual Chess Championship in April 2015, Uganda's
chess community proved they have what it takes to also take on the most prestigious of continental
events when it pulled off the six tournaments comprising the 2016 African Individual Chess
Championship in spectacular fashion last month.
 
Organised by Uganda Chess Federation under the auspices of the ACC (African Chess
Confederation), the chess extravaganza was held at Tick Hotel in Kawempe – a northern suburb of
Uganda's bustling capital city Kampala – from 16th to 27th July 2016.
 
54 players from 11 federations (Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South
Africa, Somalia, Uganda and Zambia) including 3 GMS, 9 IMs, 1 WGM and 9 WIMs, made this
one of the most competitive editions of the tournament in recent years.
 
The mode of play for all six tournaments was the same – 9 rounds Swiss System, while the time
controls were: 90 minutes (for first 40 moves) + 30 minutes (for the rest of the game) + 30 seconds
increment (from move 1) for the classical event; 15 minutes + 10 seconds increment (from move 1)
for the rapid event and 5 minutes + 3 seconds increment (from move 1) for the blitz event.
 
CLASSICAL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
In the Open section of the classical event, top seed Egyptian GM Ahmed Adly's first-round draw
against FM Patrick Kawuma (Uganda) and sixth-round loss to FM Andrew Kayonde (Zambia), both
considerably lower rated players meant his chances of finishing first had practically gone up in
smoke but he did well to claw back to joint second place (third overall on tie-break scores) after 9
rounds.
 
The revelation of the tournament turned out to be eighth seed Egyptian IM Abdelrehman Hesham
(rated 2400), who with just one loss (to GM Adly) and two draws (against FM Oussedik and IM
Cawdery) emerged clear winner with 7 points and an automatic Grand Master title. Following hot
on his heels was Zambian FM Andrew Kayonde – the only player to beat 2607-rated GM Adly –
who finished joint second (second overall on tie-break) with 6.5 points.
 
In the Ladies section, top seed Egyptian WIM Shahenda Wafa (rated 2106) could not shrug off
competition from her elder sister WGM Shrook Wafa (rated 2096), after both of them along with
fellow Egyptian WFM Eman Elansary ended the tournament in joint first place with 7 points each.
WGM Wafa managed to win on a better tie-break score having defeated both her compatriots
(Eman in round two and Shahenda in round five). Second place went to WIM Wafa and third place
to WFM Elansary on a better second tie-break score (Buccholz).
 
RAPID CHAMPIONSHIP
 
In the 2016 African Individual Rapid Chess Championship held on 25th July, 48 of the 52 players
present in Kampala opted to participate.
 
The Open section, once again, saw top seed and tournament favourite GM Ahmed Adly (rated
2652) failing to clinch first place after fellow Egyptian GM Samy Shoker (rated 2543) tore through
his Algerian, Zambian, Egyptian, Nigerian, South African and Ugandan opponents' defences
finishing with 8 points, a good 1.5 points ahead of his closest rival. Trailing him in joint second
place were South African IM Daniel Cawdery (rated 2412) and GM Adly who finished with 6.5
points each and second and third places overall respectively.
 
In the Ladies section, it was another three-way tie for first place with the Egyptian Wafa sisters and
Algerian WIM Amina Mezioud in contention with 7.5 points each. This time WIM Shahenda Wafa
took first place overall on a better tie-break followed by WIM Mezioud and WGM Shrook Wafa.
 
BLITZ CHAMPIONSHIP
 
The Blitz championship held on 26th July saw the number of players drop to 39 (23 in the Open
section and 19 in the Ladies'), possibly due to chess exhaustion.
 
Top seed even in this format of the game, GM Ahmed Adly (rated a whopping 2701), finally saw
success in his third attempt, this time edging past fellow GM Samy Shoker on a better tie-break
score after both finished with 7.5 points each to take home first place in the Open section. IM
Hesham made it an Egyptian clean sweep finishing in third place with 6.5 points. Hosts Uganda
came close to a podium finish with veteran blitzer FM Harold Wanyama ending the tournament in
fourth place with 6 points.
 
After having been dominated by the Egyptian troika of Shrook, Shahenda and Eman for most of the
tournament, the Algerian WIMs fought back hard in the blitz format to take the second, third and
fourth places overall still unable to crack WGM Wafa's secrets of consistent form. Amazingly, the
Ladies section saw one more three-way tie for first place being decided by tie-break scores when
the eligible players finished with 7 points each. This time it was WGM Wafa in first place overall,
followed by WIM Sabrina Latreche in second place and WIM Amina Mezioud in third place.
Sponsors of this event included: African Chess Confederation/FIDE, National Council For Sports
Uganda, Civil Aviation Authority Uganda, Tick Hotel, Smile Communications and Nile Breweries.
The arbitration team was led by IA, FT, IO Omar Salama (Iceland) who was assisted by IA, IO
Akram Jemai (Tunisia), FA Christopher Turyahabwe (Uganda), FA Tshepiso Lopang (Botswana),
FA Rehema Khimulu (Kenya) and FA, DI Paras Gudka (Kenya).
 
PRIZE WINNERS
 
Classical – Open Section:
• Winner – IM Abdelrehman Hesham 7 pts (EGY)
• Second Place – FM Andrew Kayonde 6.5 pts (ZAM)
• Third Place – GM Ahmed Adly 6.5 pts (EGY)
• Fourth Place – IM Adlane Arab 6.5 pts (ALG)
• Fifth Place – GM Essam El Gindy 6.5 pts (EGY)
• Sixth Place – GM Samy Shoker 6 pts (EGY)
• Seventh Place – IM Daniel Cawdery 6 pts (RSA)
 
Classical – Ladies Section:
• Winner – WGM Shrook Wafa 7 pts (EGY)
• Second Place – WIM Shahenda Wafa 7 pts (EGY)
• Third Place – WFM Eman Elansary 7 pts (EGY)
• Fourth Place – WIM Sabrina Latreche 6 pts (ALG)
• Fifth Place – WIM Amina Mezioud 5.5 pts (ALG)
• Sixth Place – WFM Lorita Mwango 5 pts (ZAM)
• Seventh Place – WIM Esperanca Caxita 5 pts (ANG)
 
Rapid – Open Section:
• Winner – GM Samy Shoker 8 pts (EGY)
• Second Place – IM Daniel Cawdery 6.5 pts (RSA)
• Third Place – GM Ahmed Adly 6.5 pts (EGY)
 
Rapid – Ladies Section:
• Winner – WIM Shahenda Wafa 7.5 pts (EGY)
• Second Place – WIM Amina Mezioud 7.5 pts (ALG)
• Third Place – WGM Shrook Wafa 7.5 pts (EGY)
 
Blitz – Open Section:
• Winner – GM Ahmed Adly 7.5 pts (EGY)
• Second Place – GM Samy Shoker 7.5 pts (EGY)
• Third Place – IM Abdelrehman Hesham 6.5 pts (EGY)
 
Blitz – Ladies Section:
• Winner – WGM Shrook Wafa 7 pts (EGY)
• Second Place – WIM Sabrina Latreche 7 pts (ALG)
• Third Place – WIM Amina Mezioud 7 pts (ALG)
 
Closing Speech by Vianney Luggya, President of the Ugandan Chess Federation.
 
Photo and text: Paras Gudka (KEN) FA, DI

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African Chess Confederation(ACC)
c/o President Mr. Lewis NCUBE
Phone    (+260)211-212-443
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         (+260)955-770-602
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