Commonwealth Chess Championships debut in Africa!
Report by Graham Jurgensen, Convenor of the Championships
GM Gawain Jones defeated GM Abhijit Gupta in the final round of the Commonwealth & South African Open Chess Championships to record an impressive total of 9.5/11 and secure the title of 2011 Commonwealth Chess Champion. In doing so he edged out compatriot GM Nigel Short on tie-break whilst GM David Smerdon of Australia made a later charge to secure the bronze medal.
The winner on tiebreak: GM Gawain Jones, ENG, 9.5/11 points
Second on tiebreak: GM Nigel Short, England, 9.5/11 points
Third place on tiebreak for GM David Smerdon, AUS, 9.0/11
Fifth place on tiebreak for GM Abhijit Kunte, IND, 9.0/11
The beaded trophies for the winners
Final top rankings after eleven rounds
|1||GM||Jones Gawain CB||ENG||2596||9.5||56.5||74.25||2254|
|2||GM||Short Nigel D||ENG||2682||9.5||55.5||73.00||2286|
|13||FM||van der Nat Nicholas P||RSA||2308||8.0||54.0||55.50||2183|
|15||IM||Kobese Watu AKW||RSA||2355||8.0||52.0||56.50||2126|
|17||IM||Mokal Prathamesh S||IND||2405||8.0||51.5||57.00||2095|
|21||IM||Mabusela Johannes M||RSA||2272||8.0||49.0||52.75||2059|
|23||Anderson Gavin A||RSA||2157||8.0||47.5||52.25||1943|
|24||CM||Cawdery Daniel J||RSA||2274||8.0||47.5||51.00||1986|
The woman’s section was dominated by the India ladies and was won by IM Eesha Karavade, ahead of IM Harika Dronovalli and WGM Swati Ghate. On the left: President of resident of Chess South Africa (CHESSA) Emelia Ellappen.
India's rising female talent Harika Dronovali
Medals were also awarded in age group categories with the following players securing gold in their respective categories:
|Seniors (50+)||Mark Rubery (RSA)||N/a|
|U/20||IM Sahaj Grover (IND)||R Bhuvaneshwari (IND)|
|U/18||Anant Dole (RSA)||Aparajita Gochhikar (Ind)|
|U/16||Thomas Feng (Aus)||Rachelle Mari Voges (RSA)|
|U/14||Daniel Barrish (RSA)||WFM Ivana Maria Furtado (IND)|
|U/12||Victor Spirou (RSA)||Alida de Bruyn (RSA)|
|U/10||Chopra Aryan (IND)||Alida van der Walt (RSA)|
|U/8||Kevin Willathgamuwa (Aus)||Nadia Schmidt (RSA)|
Whilst the chess was hard fought, the event will also be remembered for some unusual excursions and functions which arranged for the chess tourists and officials during the tournament. These included a trip to the Lion Park as well as some social evening activities including the “convenors dinner” and a more relaxed South African braai.
A giraffe tries to steal a kiss from Dr. med. Nida Mishraz Siddiqui of Pakistan
One of the key goals of this type of event is to bring together players of differing levels and abilities and to share cultural experiences. The fact that so many youngsters have had an opportunity to play in the same venue as some of the World elite have made the event a huge success from a development perspective and hopefully this will serve as a precursor for similar tournaments in the future.
Video reports by Vijay Kumar
Round seven report
Round eight report
Round nine report
Round ten report.
Vijay Kumar IBS [Retd] is the former Chief Producer of TV News & Sports, Doordarshan Indian TV Network
The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.