Armed with powerful moves, France based Moroccan FM Msellek Ilyass emerged champion of the 2022 Zone 4.1 Africa Individual Chess Championship that took place at Hotel Rosa Beach Monastir in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia from 13th March to 19th March 2022 .
FM Msellek Ilyass, who entered the tournament as first seed with a 2411 rating glittering to his name , scored 7.5 out of 9 , a full point clear of his runners up Bhem Ghanem Hamed of Tunisia who scored 6.5 points.
Egyptian FM Sadeck Samah was third also with 6.5 points. The 2 were separated by the Bucholloz tie breaking system.
The top 3 winners walked away with 1500 USD, 1000USD, 750 USD, respectively.
With no Zone 4.1 King Kong, GM Bilel Bellahcene around to refute his moves , Mselleck was untouchable. He led the championship from first round all the way to the last round. The draws he had with Ben Brahem in fourth round , Sentissi Yassine in seventh round , and Gator Mosab in eighth round couldn’t remove him from the top spot either.
The rest of the podium finishers were Ben Brahem 6 points (Tunisia), FM Gator Mosab (Libya) 4.5 points , Sentissi Yassine(Morocco) 4.5 points , Benherabi Khalil (Algeria) 4.5 points on 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th positions respectively. The 3 that tied at 4.5 points were separated by the Bucholoz tie breaking system .
These pocketed 500 USD, 400 USD, 300USD and 200 USD respectively .
In Morocco, Ilyass Msellek is ranked second to the veteran Grandmaster Hicham Hamdouchi rated 2536 who did not participate in the event.
On top of the poshy monetary prize, the triumph earns Msellek an IM title and a ticket to participate in 2022 Sharjah Challenger Chess Championship Arabia .
A total of 14 players participated in this year’s Zone 4.1 championships, which is an improvement from the 2019 Zone 4.1 event that was held in Oran Algeria, where there were only 10 registrants.
However, many bemoaned the lack of ladies section which did not have registrants.
Zone 4.1 comprises of Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia , Libya , and Algeria. All the zone members fielded athletes in this years championships.
Dr Marouane Tabti of Algeria is the current president of Zone 4.1.
Doghri Nabil is the current president of the Tunisia Chess Federation.
For details of the tournament, go to the following link