Ivory Coast to host major African tournament

by KCF Africa
6/23/2018 – An unprecedented rapid & blitz invitational tournament is being organised in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Ten players from ten different African countries will participate in an event that will mimic the Grand Chess Tour format. The French mass media conglomerate that sponsors the Paris GCT, Vivendi SA, is sponsoring this novel initiative. | Pictured: Abidjan city center at night | Photo: Cedric Favero

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KCF Africa logoThe Fédération Ivoirienne des Echecs (FIDEC) and the Kasparov Chess Foundation have announced the addition of a major tournament to the 2018 African Chess calendar. 

The event will be held from Wednesday 25th July 2018 until Sunday 29th July 2018 and will showcase some of the very best players from the African continent. 

All games will be played at Hotel Tiama, a 5-star hotel located in the heart of the business district of Abidjan. The tournament has been made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Vivendi SA, the French mass media conglomerate that sponsors the Paris leg of the Grand Chess Tour.

Interestingly, the format will be the same as the one used in the Grand Chess Tour. The rapid chess portion of the event will be a 10-player single round-robin that will take place over three days. The blitz chess portion, on the other hand, will be a double round-robin that will last two days. The time controls will also be the same as the ones being used in the GCT: 25 minutes plus 10 seconds of delay in the rapid section and 5 minutes plus 3 seconds of delay in the blitz portion of the event. The rapid games award twice as many points as the blitz games.

DGT Boards will be used for all rounds and the games will be broadcast live from the venue to all major international chess websites.

GM Amin Bassem from Egypt will lead the field | Photo: Alina l'Ami

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 field consists of ten carefully chosen participants, who are without exception amongst the very best from their respective countries — they all belong to the top-three in their countries. The field is unquestionably one of the strongest ever assembled for an African rapid and blitz tournament and will showcase the very best of Africa’s talent.

The list of participants

# Title Name Surname Fed URS FIDE - Rapid FIDE - Blitz
1 GM Bassem  Amin EGY 2680 2633 2695
2 GM Mohamed Haddouche ALG 2495 2438 2428
3 IM Mokliss El Adnani MAR 2450 2363 2458
4 IM Fy  Rakotomaharo MAD 2421 2190 2216
5 GM Kenny Solomon RSA 2418 2382 2419
6 IM Arthur Ssegwanyi UGA 2389 2356 2269
7 GM Slim Belkhodja TUN 2386 2405 2397
8 IM Andrew Kayonde ZAM 2385 2283 2308
9 IM David Silva ANG 2319 2241 2293
10 IM Oladapo Adu NIG 2270 2273 2287

IA Stephane Escafre from France will be the Chief Arbiter for the tournament, while IA Lekan Adeyemi from Nigeria will be the Deputy Chief Arbiter. 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.

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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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macauley macauley 6/24/2018 09:13
Thanks. Corrected.
King Black King Black 6/23/2018 11:58
Error on page: Kenny Solomon from RSA is a GM and not an IM
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