The final day of the CIV Invitational was always going to be about the battle for the minor places as GM Bassem Amin had established an insurmountable 7-point lead heading into the final day.

It was a day filled with tension with thousands of US$ on the line and many of the players were visibly under pressure towards the latter half of the day. In the end, the quality of the GM's was on display as GM Mohammed Amine Haddouche and GM Kenny Solomon held their nerve to end second and third respectively.

GM Haddouche had a particularly good final day which saw him score an undefeated 7.5/9 on the day. This was enough to see him climb to a total of 24/36 and comfortably secure second place by a margin of 4 points in the end.

Kenny had a roller-coaster ride on the final day after starting with back to back losses against IM Andrew Kayonde and IM David Silva. He then found himself under pressure again in round 3 and only narrowly held the draw against IM Fy Rakotaomaharo. He decided that drastic measures were required and hurried up to his room to change his shirt in the hope of changing his luck! It proved to be an inspired decision as he immediately inflicted the first loss of the entire tournament on GM Bassem. Despite a late loss to GM Haddouche in blitz round 17, he held his nerve against IM Arthur Ssegwanyi in the final round to secure 3rd place by a narrow 1/2 point margin.

IM David Silva from Angola was probably the revelation of the blitz portion of the event and his incredible speed was once again on display as he made another impressive showing on day 5. David's combined score of 12/18 in the blitz segment was sufficient to see him place 2nd behind Bassem in this portion of the tournament and he earned himself more than 100 Blitz Rating points en-route to securing 4th place and a $2000 payday.

IM Moklis El Adnani had been the early tournament leader on day 1 but a few tough days in the middle had seen him deep in the fight for the final cashing place. Under pressure early in the day he had to dig deep but he won 3 out of his last 4 games (including a win against Bassem) in order to snatch 5th place and the final prize of $1,000.

IM Andrew Kayonde and IM Fy Rakotomaharo where both also in contention for most of the final day and both will be satisfied with their performances as they ended 6th and 7th respectively. GM Slim Belkhodja also recovered well from his disappointment in the rapid segment as he ended in 8th place overall.

IM Adu and IM Ssegwanyi may be disappointed with their final positions but both were competitive throughout and both were integral to the overall success of the tournament.

As KCF Africa we were extremely proud to be associated with a tournament of this exceptional standard and we need to acknowledge the contributions of Dr Essoh Essis and his team at FIDEC as well as the teams from African Chess Media, Chess24, FollowChess. We also want to acknowledge the personal contributions to the tournament by IA Stephane Escafre from France, IA Lekan Adeyemi from Nigeria and WGM Alina L'Ami from Romania. In addition, we would be remiss not to acknowledge Ben Simon, GM Robert Hungaski and the entire Broadcast team at the St Louis Chess Club who brought the event to light with their daily broadcast coverage.

Events like this cannot take place without funding and the incredible contribution of Vivendi SA as well as the support received from the Centre De Promotion Des Investissements en Cote d'Ivoire must also be acknowledged.This tournament has been an incredible team effort and has resulted in extensive media coverage which cannot fail to enhance the development of top level chess on the African Continent moving forward

Full links for the tournament results, PGN Files, closing interviews and daily broadcasts are provided below for anyone interested in the final standings.

Final standings and PGN Games Files
Rapid (including 45 PGN Games)

Blitz (including 90 PGN Games)

Chess 24 tournament page with complete games and final standings

Playlist of player interviews with the St Louis Chess Club

Playlist of Pre-Tournament Player Interviews

Playlist of full daily broadcasts from St Louis Chess Club

A final report of consolidated media links as well as details of the various activities that ran in parallel with the tournament will be compiled later this week.