13th African Games, Republic of Ghana 8th – 23rd March 2024

13th African Games Individual Rapid: Egypt clinch double gold

The third and final day of the 13th African Games chess programme featured individual blitz championships (open and women) and a mixed team blitz event. It was another great day for team Egypt, which claimed two out of three gold medals awarded on March 11. In total, Bassem Amin and Shahenda Wafa collected five golds at the 13th African Games.

The day started with individual blitz competitions open and women sections, 9-round Swiss events with 5 min + 3 sec time control. Bassem Amin, the only GM in the field, put in a very strong performance and won his third gold with an impressive 8/9.

The second seed, IM Fy Antenaina Rakotomaharo of Madagascar, gave the champion a good run for his money and also scored 8/9 but had to settle for silver after losing the direct encounter. FM Banele Mhango of South Africa pulled off a crucial final-round victory over IM Adlane Arab from Algeria and took bronze.

Final standings Blitz Open 

Just like day before, the women’s blitz competition was a close race between WGM Shahenda Wafa (Egypt) and Lina Nassr (Algeria; pictured below, left) who came to the final round neck-to-neck on 7/8. Shahenda had a great chance for her third gold (as the winner of the direct encounter) but this time around fortune smiled on the Algerian.

Wafa completely misplayed a superior position against Constance Mbatha of Zambia and lost, while Nassr achieved overwhelming advantage vs Jesse Nikki February of South Africa but offered a draw to secure the title.

The 11th seed, Natalie Katlo Banda, produced a minor sensation and took bronze, netting 6/9.

Final standings Women Blitz

The mixed blitz tournament was the final chess competition of the 13th African Games. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich visited the event and made the first ceremonial move in the game Shahenda Wafa – Linda Dalitso Shaba. 


Given Egypt’s previous results in the 13th African Games, the Pharaohs entered the final event as the main favorites and delivered. The Egyptians started out of the gate, winning four straight matches, but in Round 5, they fell to Algeria. The Pharaohs bounced back by beating Angola and Ivory Coast but then dropped another point after drawing with Madagascar in the penultimate round.

Algeria had a modest start, drawing three out of four matches, but after defeating the rating favorites in Round 5, they picked up steam and caught up with Egypt going to the final round. Both teams confidently won their matches and tied for first place with 15/18, but Egypt earned gold thanks to a greater number of game points. The same tiebreaker favored Nigeria, which shared third place with Angola but took bronze.

Final standings Mixed Team Blitz

Over a short closing ceremony, the FIDE President thanked the host country, organizers, arbiters and players, congratulated team Egypt and expressed his satisfaction with the competition: “Our joint efforts brought chess to better visibility and opened better prospects in the future…. The tournament was very intense, with so many games played over just a few days. The competition was amazing. In almost every category, it was not clear who would occupy the podium until the end of the last round. As many as seven teams won medals in this competition, which is great for chess development in Africa.”




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