Chess on the Nile – a Tournament of Hope

3/27/2009 – Egypt is a country of about 80 million inhabitants, but the country has just three grandmasters. The "hope" in the name given to the Egyptian Youth Chess Championship 2009 expresses the desire to produce more GMs, and to get more boys and girls come in to play the royal game. To this end a potent sponsor has set up a Chess Academy. Big illustrated report by its director Medhat Moheb.

ChessBase 15 - Mega package ChessBase 15 - Mega package

Find the right combination! ChessBase 15 program + new Mega Database 2019 with 7.6 million games and more than 70,000 master analyses. Plus ChessBase Magazine (DVD + magazine) and CB Premium membership for 1 year!

More...

A Tournament Of Hope

Report by Medhat Moheb

In February the Egyptian Youth Chess Championship took place in the Nahr Elnil Hotel (which means: the Nile River Hotel), which directly overlooks the river Nile at El Maadi District, a wealthy suburb south of Cairo. Cairo (Arabic: لقاهرة, transliteration: al-Qahira or "the triumphant") is of course the capital and largest city of Egypt. Here are some visual impressions of the city, from noon to night, provided by John George, Director of Power Consult LLC.


Al-Azhar Park, with a panoramic view of old historic Cairo. Saladin Citadel at the background.


A general view of the lake and Al-Azhar park


An ancient sailboat (Felluca), the kind that still cruise the Nile


Sunset, with a view of the Nile from Maadi District, southern Cairo


Cairo by night: Kasr-Elnil bridge, downtown, and the twinkling lights of the city coming to life


Cairo Tower, 187 meters tall – the design was inspired by the lotus flower

The Egyptian Youth Chess Championship 2009

The tournament which was a Swiss event of nine rounds and attracted 198 players (160 boys and 38 girls), young Egyptian talents from all over the country. They were classified according to age and gender into five main categories:

1 Boys U10 26 players   Girls U10 10 players
2 Boys U12 29 players   Girls U12  9 players
3 Boys U14 36 Players   Girls U14 10 players
4 Boys U16 49 Players   Girls 16-18 9 Players
5 Boys U18 20 Players      

The tournament had two players with official Fide titles: WGM Mona Khaled, playing in the Boys U16, and FM Andro Wagdy playing in the Boys U12. There were also five rated players over 2000: Moheb Ameir (2081), Mohamed Nader (2013) and WGM Mona Khaled (2005), all playing in the Boys U16, and Abd Elrahman Hesham (2085) and Marko Fadi (2037) playing in the Boys U18.


A view in the playing hall


The very talented players Abdelrahman Yasser Allam and Omar Mosaad

The Egyptian Chess Federation bore the cost and fees of one boy and one girl from each region of the country, in order to encourage as many players as possible to participate in the tournament.

Top results in all groups

  Boys U10
1 Mahmoud Mohamed
-
9.0
2 Yasser Mark
-
7.5
3 El Ashkar Khaled
-
6.5
  Boys U12
1 Wagdy Andro
1871
8.5
2 Zalook Mohamed
-
7.0
3 Hussein Mohamed
-
6.0
  Boys U14
1 Aziz Mena
-
7.0
2 Magdy Ahmed
1585
7.0
3 Osama Mohamed
-
7.0
  Boys U16
1 Nader Mohamed
2033
8.0
2 Ameir Moheb
2081
7.0
3 Ghanaym Mohamed Ayman
-
7.0
  Boys U18
1 Hesham Abdelrahman
2085
8.0
2 Fadi Marko
2037
7.5
3 Ehab Mohamed
1886
6.5
 
  Girls U10
1 Kamal Sherien
-
8.0
2 Amin Laila
-
8.0
3 Ibrahim Dalia
-
6.5
  Girls U12
1 Hamed Sherook
-
7.5
2 Abdelmenaem Sohayla
-
6.5
3 Hamed Shahenda
-
6.0
  Girls U14
1 Abdelazem Mona
-
8.5
2 Abdelnaby Entsar
-
8.0
3 Saber Mariah
-
6.5
  Girls 16-18
1 El Hakeem Ayat
-
7.5
2 Abdelmoneam Amany
-
6.5
3 Elansary Eman
-
6.5

The tournament was a very hard-fought one in all the categories, and the final standings were unclear until the final moves of the games had been played in the last round.


WGM Mona Khaled against Moheb Ameir in a critical game


Brilliant young player, Youmna Mosaad, who showed excellent form in a fried liver attack game!


The very talented Yasser Ibrahim (on the right)


An important game in the highest group

The students from the Smouha Club Chess Academy (SCCA), which was established in Alexandria under the auspices of a well-known businessman and engineer Farag Amer, surprised everyone and scored good results, even though they had been playing chess for only four months. For example in the Girls U14 section Youmna Mosaad scored six points out of nine and came fifth. She could have finished third, but unfortunately in a critical game she blundered away her queen just when she was about to deliver checkmate. Also in the Boys U10 section the very talented Abdelrahman Yasser Allam scored five points and finished ninth, and in the Boys U12 section talent Yasser Ibrahim played some very fine games and finished twelfth. We must also mention Omar Mosaad, who played some good games in the same section, but not at his full strength.

Special Thanks – I would very much like to thank:

  1. Engineer Farag Amer, the chairman of Smouha Club, who kindly supported the establishment of the first chess academy in Egypt and constantly helped to supply the academy with all the chess equipment required, and encouraged the participation of SCCA students in the competition, although they had been learning chess for such a short time.

  2. Madame Gihan El Sahaar, who is a member of the board of the Egyptian Chess Federation, and also WGM Mona Khaled’s mother. She is really an honest person and a great personality. I want to thank her for her support and encouragement.

  3. Chief Arbiter I.A.Wagdy Lamie, who made an incredible effort to ensure that this tournament would be a huge success. He constantly supervised the results on the Chess-Results web site, which helped me a lot in this report.

  4. Mr. Mohamed Saad, who is a first-class chess referee and a representative of the Alexandria chess region. He expended a lot of hard work and efforts to facilitate suitable conditions for the young chess players from Alexandria.


    Chief arbiter I.A.Wagdy Lamie and chief referee Mohamed Saad


    Mohamed Saad with young talent WGM Mona Khaled

  5. Engineer John George, who is the Managing Director of Power Consult LLC. John provided me with his great photos from the event and the lovely scenes from Cairo which I really appreciate a lot.

One Final Word: why was this a tournament of hope? Because in Egypt, with a population of about 80 million, we have just three grandmasters: Ahmed Adly, Bassem Amin and Essam Elgindy. The hope of having more GMs depends mainly on the youth, which means the acceleration of spreading chess everywhere in the country and creating a chess culture where more boys and girls come in to play the royal game. That is what the Egyptian Chess Federation – under the auspices of Chairman Hussein Nafady – is trying to do.


A chess class at the Smouha Academy, with six to nine-year-olds


That's Medhat Moheb giving the lesson in the background


There is nothing more exhilarating than to watch these childeren enjoy the challenge of chess

I always admire the words of the late Senator Robert Kennedy, God bless his soul: “Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?” My hope is that my dream will come true one day… but that is another story.

About the author: Medhat Moheb is a chess enthusiast who was a top chess youth talent in Alexandria City in the middle of the 90s. Today he works as a civil engineer and is the director of the Smouha Club Chess Academy (SCCA).

Copyright ChessBase



Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register