The Cote d'Ivoire Rapid & Blitz Invitational kicked off in Abidjan

by KCF Africa
7/25/2018 – Amin Bassem leads a field of ten strong chess players from ten different African countries. They are competing at the Cote d'Ivoire Rapid & Blitz Invitational, an event that mimics the format used in the Grand Chess Tour. The tournament is organized by the Fédération Ivoirienne des Echecs (FIDEC) and the Kasparov Chess Foundation. Starting today, 90-minute highlight shows will be provided daily. | Pictured: GM Amin Bassem | Photo: Alina l'Ami

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An elite African event

The fact that the tournament has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of Vivendi SA, the French mass media conglomerate that helps in the promotion of the Paris Grand Chess Tour event, says all we need to know about the seriousness of the organization.

The format will be the same as the one used in the GCT. The rapid portion will be a 10-player single round-robin that will take place over three days, while the blitz portion will be a double round-robin that will last two days. The rapid games award twice as many points as the blitz games. 

The winner of the Paris leg of the GCT, Hikaru Nakamura, was in South Africa earlier this year | Photo: Lennart Ootes

The total prize pool amounts to US$ 15,000 to be distributed according to the combined score in both events. The prize pool is most likely the largest ever paid for a rapid event in the African continent.

The rounds start every day at 15:00 GMT, except on Sunday, when the clocks will start running at 13:00 GMT.

Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Madagascar, South Africa, Uganda, Tunisia, Angola and Nigeria will be represented. According to the Universal Rating System implemented by the GCT organizers, this is the starting rating list:

No. Name Rtg
1 Amin Bassem 2680
2 Haddouche Mohamed 2495
3 El Adnani, Mokliss 2450
4 Rakotomaharo, Fy Antenaina 2421
5 Solomon, Kenny 2418
6 Ssegwanyi, Arthur 2389
7 Belkhodja, Slim 2386
8 Kayonde, Andrew 2385
9 Silva, David 2319
10 Adu, Oladapo 2270

In order to display the event and highlight its relevance for the African chess world, 90-minute shows will be posted daily at the Saint Louis Chess Club Youtube page.

In addition, the well-known chess photojournalist, WGM Alina l'Ami, will be attending the event as the official reporter to provide daily coverage of the event. Mr Babatunde Ogunsiku, the CEO of African Chess News will also be present.

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Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa was launched in 2012 as a public benefit organisation focusing on the promotion of chess as a tool for education and social development across the broader African continent.
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