Liberia , a North African country known for its famous president, former FIFA World Footballer of the Year , George Weah and its historic connection to the United States is hosting The 2021 Africa Junior Chess Championships in their beautiful capital city of Monrovia .The traditional chess event , which is being played In Girls and Open sections, kick started on Wednesday 29th December, 2021 and will end on 4th January 2022 after 9 rounds.
The Open section has registered 18 participants and the Girls section 8.
The countries participating are Nigeria, Uganda, Liberia, Cameroun, Egypt, Sierra Leone and Algeria.
However, the numbers have slightly declined from the last edition that was hosted by Ghana in 2019. It registered 26 in Open Section, and 12 in Girls Section. 2020 edition failed to take place because of the Covid- 19 pandemic.
A quick gaze through the Open Section. With a rating of 2212, Algeria’s FM Brahami Lamine is the highest rated player of the Open Section . He won the 2021 Africa Individual Online Chess Championship Under 20 Section, and boasts of exposure from the competitive Arab Junior Championships.
Nigerian Tennyson Olisah (2111) is the second highest rated player of the section.
Nevertheless, because of nationality brand, attracting a lot of attention will be the Egyptian phenomenon, David George Samir (2063) who is just 10 years old .
Samir sent shock waves across Africa when he won the Under 8 Section of the 2019 Africa Youth Chess Championship with a stunning 100 percent. At the 2021 Africa Youth Chess Championship in Accra , Ghana he surprised everybody when he braved to play in the tough Under 18 category, where he finished second to Nigerian Isaac Okeke.
According to Liberia’s Facebook Publication , Samir is expected to uphold the standards set by other Egyptian Masters like Fawzy Adham, Amin Bassem and Ahmed Adley who have left an indelible mark at the championships.
Another Nigerian Eyetonghan Denyefa Callistus is rated 2005, while Mohamed Abderrahim Taleb Mohamed of Mauritania, who won bronze in the 2021 Africa Online Individual Chess Championship Under 20 category, is rated 1923.
The section would have been more interesting if Nigerian FM Isaac Okeke was there. This lad is said to have upped his game.
While the Nassr sisters , WIM Lina(1947) and WCM Manel(1662) , who are coached by their dad, are expected to keep the ladies section boiling
Many will also be interested to see the exploits of Botswana’s WFM Naredi Marape (1723) . She won the Under 16 Girls Section in the 2021 Africa Youth Chess Championship. Naredi became Woman Fide Master at the tender age of 12.
However, the home team have their trump card in Abigael Karyah who, at only 13 , is the current Liberia’s ladies champion .
But the bad part is that the defending champions of both sections , GM Fawzy Adham of Egypt and WFM Luzia Pires of Angola are not available to defend their titles.
The Africa Junior Chess Championship is an annual event which is a known nursery for African chess stars. Its only strictly for Africans 20 years and below.
Here is the list of the event’s winners since time in memorial
For full details of the 2021 Africa Junior Chess Championship , go to the following link.