CHESS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMOTORING -

THE SA Open at UWC was pre­dictably won by Aleksa Strikovic, the Ser­bian grand­mas­ter.

Also as ex­pected, the top South Africans con­firmed their rat­ings.

1. Aleksa Strikovic – Ser­bia (2505) 9.5/11; 2. Watu Kobese – RSA (2344) and Daniel Cawdery – RSA (2412) 8.5.

Then came two for­eign play­ers: Daniel Jere – Zam­bia (2368) and Joseph Mwale – Malawi (2076) 8. Strikovic also won the blitz. We are lucky to have such a strong player, one who is also keen to coach. The stage is set for the big­gest con­ti­nen­tal chess event yet held on Ugan­dan soil. Tick Ho­tel is ready to host the Africa In­di­vid­ual Chess Cham­pi­onship that started this week and ends on July 27.

More than 60 lead­ing play­ers from 13 coun­tries – Egypt, South Africa, Al­ge­ria, Ghana, So­ma­lia, Angola, South Su­dan, Zam­bia, Nige­ria, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda con­firmed par­tic­i­pa­tion.

The high­est- ranked play­ers reg­is­tered are GM Adly Ahmed (2607), GM Shoker Samy (2489) and GM Es­sam El Gindy (2431) from Egypt, and GM Had­douche Mo­hamed (2494) from Al­ge­ria.

The ladies cat­e­gory fea­tures WGM Mona Kaled and WGM Wafa Shrook from Egypt who are likely to face com­pe­ti­tion from South Africa’s WIMs Denise Frick and Anzel Laub­scher.

The to­tal in cash prizes for the win­ners is $ 20 000, the big­gest to be awarded in Uganda’s chess his­tory.

Be­sides the cash, a lot is at stake as the win­ners au­to­mat­i­cally at­tain the Grand­mas­ter ti­tle. But what of our fe­male play­ers? Since our sole WGM Melissa Gre­eff de­parted for Canada, no women have come near to win­ning the WGM ti­tle.

WIMs Denise Frick and Anzel Laub­scher have a per­fect shot in Uganda.

Ju­dit Pol­gar, one of the world’s top chess play­ers, has hit back against a claim by an­other of the game’s stars that men are nat­u­rally bet­ter chess play­ers.

“We are ca­pa­ble of the same fight as any man, and I think dur­ing the decades that I ac­tively played chess I proved it as well,” Pol­gar said. The Hun­gar­ian be­came a chess prodigy with her two sis­ters and broke Bobby Fis­cher’s record to be­come the youngest grand­mas­ter at the age of 15 in 1991.

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