Chess and general impressions from Luanda

5/22/2011 – The CUCA International Chess in Angola's capital of Luanda is a generously staged event in an exotic part of the world. We have problems coming by the games, but two of the participants, Romanian-born WGM Alina l'Ami and GM Sergey Tiviakov, originally Russia – both now live in Holland – took time off to explore the town and its culture. From them we have received this giant pictorial report.

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From May 15 to May 28 the CUCA International Chess tournament is taking place in Luanda, Angola. It is comprised of two events, an Open and a Women's event, both of which are nine-round swiss tournaments played at 40 moves for 90 minutes, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game and a 30-second increment as of move one.

The event is sponsored by CUCA brewery, the largest in Angola, has generous conditions including room and board for IM/GMs as well as WGM/WIM/WFMs. The first prizes for the men's event are 1st - US$ 5000, 2nd - US$ 4000, 3rd - US$3000, 4th US$ 2000, 5th - US$ 500. The top prizes in the Women's event are 1st - US$ 3000, 2nd - US$ 2000, 3rd - US$1500, 4th US$ 1000, 5th - US$ 500.

Chess and general impressions from Luanda

Photo report by WGM Alina l'Ami and GM Sergey Tiviakov


A view from the hotel: the city of Luanda, with the Atlantic Ocean in the background


High-rise and traditional side-by-side


Slums, older housing and modern high-rise – "I have never seen so many cranes –
Luanda is clearly recovering after the war," writes our photographer Alina l'Ami

Angola, which is one of the world's fastest growing economies, has been undergoing a massive national reconstruction. The central government allocates funds to all regions of the country, but the capital region receives the bulk of these funds. Since the end of the Angolan Civil War (1975–2002), stability has been widespread in the country, and major reconstruction has been ongoing since 2002. This includes major road rehabilitation and major social housing to relocate those who reside in slums. The Angolan minister of health recently stated poverty in Angola will be overcome by an increase in jobs and the housing of every citizen.


      Population growth of Luanda from 1750–2007


A colonial-style building in the middle of the city


Traffic and housing in Luanda


Street decoration, appartment housing and the ever present advertising for beer


A mural on Luanda's Independence Square


A Funge restaurant, one serving a staple of the Angolan diet

Funge is made from corn meal (funge) or yucca/manioc flour, and accompanies most meals. The only ingredient you need to make funge is the flour which you mix in boiling water until you get a consistent paste. It is served with beans or any fish or meat.


Our roving (and playing) reporters in Luanda, WGM Alina l'Ami and GM Sergey Tiviakov


GM Alina with a local carrying watcha-may-call-it (including a megaphone in the large pink thingy)


GMs Tiviakov, l'Ami, Short on an African bus – you gotta get shades, Sergey!


Nigel Short gives a simul on a traffic intersection


Alina likewise...


... and afterwards makes friends (and contact) with the locals


Nigel too has lots of fans and friends in Luanda


Alina at Miradoura de Lua ("Luna landscape"), a canyon 40 km south of Luanda


Standings in the open section after five rounds

Rk. Name Rtg FED
Pts.
1 GM Fernandes Antonio 2404 POR
4.5
2 GM Short Nigel D 2682 ENG
4.0
3 GM Tiviakov Sergei 2622 NED
3.5
4 GM Galego Luis 2501 POR
3.5
5 IM Gwaze Robert 2429 ZIM
3.5
6 Simoes Joao 2220 ANG
3.5
7 Soares Erikson Roberto Maurici 2196 ANG
3.5
8 IM Aderito Pedro 2339 ANG
3.0
9 CM Solomons Deon 2214 RSA
3.0
10 Miguel Sergio 0 ANG
3.0
11 Domingos Ediberto 2201 ANG
3.0
12 Sapalo Gabriel 0 ANG
2.5
13 Pascoal Eduardo A 2210 ANG
2.5
14 Oliveira Luciano 2186 ANG
2.5
15 Felix Claudio 0 ANG
2.5
16 Fernandes Carlos 0 ANG
2.5
17 FM Ramos Aristotle 2215 ANG
2.0
18 António Manuel 0 ANG
2.0
19 Agostinho Tito Andre Quiela 2276 ANG
2.0
20 Cambando Jose 2015 ANG
2.0
21 Camilo Angelico Armando 2215 ANG
1.5
22 Dias Vanderson 0 ANG
1.5
23 IM Agnelo Amorin 2176 ANG
1.0
24 IM Mamombe Kudzanai 2089 ZIM
1.0
25 IM Sousa Armindo 2193 ANG
1.0
26 Gonzalez Hernandez Humberto 1824 CUB
0.5


GM Antonio Fernandes, surprise leader ahead of two GMs rated 200+ points above him


Top seeds Sergey Tiviakov and Nigel Short drew in round four

Women's section

Rg. Name FED Elo
Pts.
1 WGM L´Ami Alina ROM 2303
5.0
2 WIM Solomons Anzel RSA 1914
4.5
3 WCM Lopang Tshepiso BOT 1861
4.0
4 Irineia Gabriel G ANG 1418
3.0
5 Rosalina Sonia ANG 0
2.0
6 Rocha Valquiria ANG 1803
2.0
7 WFM Mudongo Boikhutso BOT 1864
1.5
8 Oliveira Engracia ANG 1797
1.5
9 Conceicao Venancio Maria ANG 1916
1.0
10 Lopes Nelma ANG 0
0.5


The women's section


Nigel Short checking out the most interesting games in this section


Alina l'Ami and Nelma Lopes, who is on the Angolan Women's Olympiad team


Woman Candidate Master Tshepiso Lopang of Botswana


WFM Boikhutso Mudongo of Botswana


Dusk falls over the city of Luanda


The Atlantic harbour with luxury yachts docked


Nigel, Alina and other players relax on a million-dollar yacht


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