Henry Steel beats GM Gata Kamsky (elo 2706)

Kamsky gets taken down!
The big news for the round was the impressive comeback from IM Henry Mohamed Steel. Kamsky had the pressure but Mohammed acted like the man van staal and withstood the pressure. Once he did that, he showed superlative technique to bring the full point homeWe played from 2pm until 7:30pm and Mohammed showed supreme concentration to bring home the point. GM Kamsky is a former world champion candidate having contested the world championship title in 1996 in Elista. Known to all as a tough nut to crack, Mohammed showed that Africa has the players to beat the top players in the world.well done Mohammed. Colleagues to put this in perspective! Kamsky is a high 2600. we were able to beat an opponent rated 200-300 points above us.On board one Kenny put up a great fight but GM Nakamura found the moves!the k bonk could not take out the H bomb!On Board three Watu probably had drawing chances but missed them at the end due to fatigue. Of course GM Alexander Onischuk is a seasoned campaigner.On board four young GM Shankland beat David Gluckman who showed tremendous composure. At one stage it looked like if was heading for a draw but Shankland pushed the pawns on the queenside to open the position.Gary Kasparov came around more than once And pulled some faces when he saw the position of Kamsky. We all smiled as we understood that Kamsky was embarrassed! Mohammed however took everything in his stride!

In the women’s section a good victory was had over Uganda. Denise won on board one with good endgame technique whilst Anzel also got a good victory.Tsepang played the Ugandan champion and for the second time got a Steinitz knight on D6 which dominated the position.Michelle unfortunately missed a tactic and lost a piece. I’m sure she will get it right as the rounds start to pile up,

For now we are basking in the glory of the victory of Mohammed against Kamsky!

Tomorrow the men play Botswana and the women play Egypt. These clashes and in particular the women’s clash is important. If SA wins against Egypt the path is open to Armenia and the woman world team championship.

Let’s celebrate the fine victory by Mohammed Steel!viva Mohammed viva!

Regards,

Captain Lyndon Bouah
Live from Tromso, Norway


FIDE Development Meeting:

I attended the FIDE development meeting this morning. We were provided with stats on a number of matters. An interesting observation is the number of grandmasters :

Russia has 214 grandmasters and 491 international masters

Ukraine has 79 and 199

France has 46 and 95

Hungary has 51 and 105

China has 30 and 23

Armenia has 33 and 26

USA has 72 and 121

India has 26 and 76

Azerbaijan has 20 and 17

Germany has 77 and 228.

The best African countries appear to be :

Egypt has 3 grandmasters and 25 international masters

Algeria has 1 grandmaster and 10 international masters

SA has 6 international masters. Daniel Cawdrey and Donovan will bring this to 8.

Morocco has no gms and 3 IMs

Tunisia has 2 gms and 3 international masters

Angola has 6 international masters

Zambia has 1 grandmaster and 2 international masters. ( I think they have more now!)

Zimbabwe has four international masters

The above stats raise many interesting questions. it appears that GM Hamdouchi has changed federations. He was the Morrocco number one. He does not appear in this list. In sub Saharan Africa only GM Amon Simutowe is resident. Egypt will add Samy Shoker to the grandmaster title list. What does it take to creat more titles. We also as South Africa need to ensure that our top players break this artificial barrier.

We have seen that our top players can compete with the grandmasters over the board. I really hope the domino effect takes place. Once we get that first magical title others will surely follow. ( ps a few years ago a well known chess personality said a friend of a grandmaster is a grandmaster!) We need to analyse these stats more and see what we can learn from them. It is important that we translate the early titles that we are achieving at junior levels to more serious titles later. Anzel and I debated the other evening over supper what the problem in SA is. Do we truly have a chess culture ? I don’t believe we are nurturing the chess culture. Anzel believes we have the coaches but how we are teaching leaves a lot to be desired. The answer is probably a combination of the two. I am still astounded when I meet junior champions that they have never heard of some of the world champions that the senior players take for granted. We all need to instil a culture of reading and analysis of games. At this stage too many players are simply using a. Computer to get a get opening position but thereafter cannot find the correct continuation at the board. We need to debate this at senior level. Perhaps Chessa should arrange a real seminar at the junior championships in Kimberley so that these matters can be debated. We need to as a country discuss the merits of the different ideas and methodologies that can be used to improve and translate the early titles into grandmaster titles. I’ve said a lot!

Now to get to my captains duties!

Regards Captain Lyndon Bouah

Reporting live from Tromso, Norway

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