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!
Captain Lyndon Bouah
Live from Tromso, Norway
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