It was numerical power, determination and class that determined who got more medals at the 2021 Africa Schools’ Individual Chess Championship that was hosted at Pride Inn Azure Hotel in Nairobi , Kenya from 13th to the 19th December, 2021
After 9 head aching rounds across the sections, the host Kenyan team, which benefited from the overwhelming numerical power of 64 players, ruled supreme with 12 medals .They bagged 3 golds, 4 silvers and 5 bronzes.
Southern Africa powerhouse, South Africa, who fielded 40 players were second with 10 medals. They clinched 4 golds, 5 silvers, and 1 bronze.
Ghana and Uganda, who fielded 5 and 23 athletes respectively, shared the third position with four medals each. 3 golds and 1 silver for Ghana, and 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronzes for Uganda. Many commended the Ghanaian team for their efficiency.
Botswana, with 6 athletes on field , ranked 5th with three bronze medals , while ever improving Malawi ranked 6th with two medals(gold and Silver) from 12 athletes on field.
Putting the medals in the individual sections under microscope. In the much fancied Under 17 Girls category, 5th highest rated player of the category, Kenyan Mercy Ingado over took the rest of the pack to win a 7.5 points tie-break over Malawian wonder girl Priyasha Santosh who got Silver. The category’s favorite WCM Gabatshrwarwe Refilwe of Botswana could only manage bronze with 6.5 points.
Tezihano Mnyasta from RSA rated just 1357 won the Under 17 Open category with 7.5 points . Thatego Lefyedi from same RSA was 2nd with 6.5 points, followed by Robert Oluka from Kenya on 3rd position with 6 points.
Edwin Pido of Uganda won the Under 15 Open with 8,5 points , CM Aguda Lwanga of Kenya was second with 7.5 points and Ugandan Ajiri Nygaard was 3rd with 6.5 points
South African Chisomo Boshoma won gold in the Under 15 girls with 7.5 points. She was followed by another South African Chloe Badenhorst with 6.5 points while WCM Arona Mashoboro from Botswana was third with 6 points.
Malawian sensation Lakshita Dutt won the Under 13 girls with 8 points. WCM Devashri Sha was 2nd with 7 points, while WCM Phoebe Mashoboro from Botswana was 3rd with 6.5 points .
Richardson Mawuli from Ghana won gold in the Under 13 Open with an earth shattering 8 points. South African Jorah Soojay was number 2 with 7 points, and Obora Jamie of Kenya was third with 6.5 points.
Cassindy Elizabeth from Kenya won the Under 11 girls with a maximum 9 points , Kajol Naidoo from South Africa got 7 points , and another Kenyan Beatrice Wambui was third with 6.5 points.
Ethan Mungal of RSA was first in the Under 11 open with 7.5 points , Kamani Muiruri of Kenya was second with 7 points , while Ssubi Kiwanuka of Uganda was third with 6 points
Ghanaian Dave Acheampong won the Under 9 Open with a maximum points , Ugandan Jayden Mubiru was second with 8 points and Kenyan Harry Kags was third with 6 points
Zoe Mungal of South Africa won the Under 7 and 9 Girls’ with 8.5 points . Another South African Grace Budhram was second with 8.5 points, while Melinda Chepengat of Kenya was third with 7 points
While in the Under 7 Open , the Ghanaians sealed the summit door in Yeboah Jeshurun with 8 points and Jedidiah Acheampong with 7 points , who got gold and silver respectively. South Africas Daniel Careb Badenhorst got bronze with 7 points . The 2 were separated by the Bucholozz tie breaking system .
The winners from both sections of Under 13 , 15 and 17 categories were also awarded Fide Master/Woman Fide Master(position 1) , and Candidate Master/ Woman Candidate Master titles (position 2 and 3) respectively, while the Candidate Master / Woman Candidate Master title was awarded in the unders 11,9 , 7and 9, and 7 .
Africa chess confederation president Lewis Ncube described the tournament as a success.
For full results go to www.chessresultsserver.com
Many commended the The Tournament Director, Benard Wanjala, and Kenyan Chess Federation for organizing a great tournament . Some of the participants said they loved the car racing they had on rest day.
Another activity that captured the public imagination in Nairobi is the Mukami chess movie launch where Africa Chess Confederation President, Louis Ncube was guest of honor . While we are yet to understand details of the movie , we gather it’s also about empowering the girl child.
In jovial mood ,about the movie , Kenyan chess Federation President Benard Wanjala posted: ”What does it takes to be great? Sometimes going through hardship and though life prepares you for greater things. Girls go through a lot in life in the society and Chess is a special tool that can provide live changing opportunities that build them to be successful. This exactly the story of MUKAMI Film by TBE film production by long-term friend Eastmond Mwenda”
On the whole, the event was given so much attention in Kenyan mainstream media