The 2016 African Junior Chess Championships came to a close on Saturday, 3rd December 2016 after 9 gruelling rounds played at L'Atrium Hotel, Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia. Organised under the auspices of the African Chess Confederation, Tunisian Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Tunisian Chess Federation, the tournament attracted 23 players from 5 federations (Algeria, Angola, Libya, Tunisia and Zambia) across Africa.
 
The Open section attracted 14 players with 3 IMS, 3 FMs and 2 CMs. Tunisia fielded 8 players, Angola and Algeria were represented by 2 players each while Libya and Zambia had 1 player each. All players in the Open section were rated. The Girls' section attracted 9 entries with 2 WIMs, 1 WFM and 2 WCMs. Tunisia fielded 6 players, Angola was represented by 2 and Algeria by 1. 8 of the 9 players in the Girls' section had ratings. Both sections saw 9 rounds being played over 8 days with 1 free day in between. The Open section was a Swiss system tournament whereas the Girls' section was a round-robin tournament due to the low number of players. The time control deployed was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and 30 minutes for the rest of the game with a 30-second increment per move from the first move.
 
Top seed IM David Silva (2256) of Angola had a forgettable tournament in the Open section, losing his first game in Round 2 to a lower rated CM Achraf Hbacha (2057) of Tunisia and then drawing in the next round to FM Omar Houimel (1980) of Tunisia. He finished the tournament in a dismal 7th position with 4.5 points and an expected loss of 49 elo points. In contrast, IM Ali Nassr (2221) of Algeria, never let go of the lead from Round 5 when he was the only player on 4.5 points. By the final round, Ali needed just a draw to cement his place in history as the 2016 African Junior Chess Champion, which he gladly got. Joining him on the winners' podium were silver medallist FM Cristiano Aguiar (2205) from Angola on 6.5 points and his brother bronze medallist IM Ahmed Nassr (2052) from Algeria on 6 points. Host federation Tunisia's best performance came from CM Achraf Hbacha who finished in joint third place with IM Ahmed Nassr (2052) on 6 points but missed the bronze medal due to a lower tie-break score. The top gainer was Mohamed Atia (1832) of Tunisia who finished with 5 points coming from wins against IM Ahmed Nassr (2052) of Algeria and CM Raphael Mulenga (1915) of Zambia amongst others to gain a whopping 96 elo points! The top loser was Ahmed Naser (1880) of Libya who played well below his strength to finish with 3 points from losses to lower ranked Alaa Bouchamla (1670), Aymen Ben Brahem (1733) and Mohamed Atia (1832) and a loss of 67 elo points.
 
In the Girls' section, WIM Maria Domingos (1704) of Angola was well on her way to victory over her closest competitor and compatriot WIM Caxita Esperanca when she tasted her first defeat of the tournament in the final round to Tunisia's WCM Syrine Mabrouk (1440). This last-minute slip allowed WIM Esperanca to take home first prize with 7 points while Maria had to settle for a silver medal. Twelve year-old WCM Amen Miladi (1432) of Tunisia impressed all to finish with 6 points and the bronze medal after having earlier drawn against top seed WIM Caxita Esperanca in Round 3 and defeated WFM Amina Guenadez (1698) of Algeria in Round 4. The highest gainer in the Girls' section was bronze medallist WCM Miladi (1432) who gained 77 elo points while the highest loser was WFM Amina Guenadez (1698) of Algeria who lost a massive 105 elo points after losses to two lower rated WCMs from Tunisia.
 
PRIZE WINNERS:
 
Open Section:
• Winner – IM Ali Nassr 7.5 pts (ALG)
• Second Place – FM Cristiano Aguiar 6.5 pts (ANG)
• Third Place – IM Ahmed Nassr 6 pts (ALG)
 
Girls' Section:
• Winner – WIM Caxita Esperanca 7 pts (ANG)
• Second Place – WIM Maria Domingos 6.5 pts (ANG)
• Third Place – WCM Amen Miladi 6 pts (TUN)
 
Sponsors of this event included: CTN (Compagnie Tunisienne de Navigation).
 
The arbitration team was led by Chief Arbiter IA Samir Zerdali (Algeria) who was assisted by Deputy Chief Arbiters IA Abdelkader Chaabani (Tunisia) and IA Taoufik El Hafdhi (Tunisia) and Assistant Arbiters FA Amina Matoussi (Tunisia), FA Paras Gudka (Kenya), FA Olabisi Rabiu (Nigeria) and NA Hichem Makhlouf (Tunisia).
 
   

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