12:25, Sunday, 1st January, 2017

KCF Africa would like to wish all chess players across the continent a happy a prosperous 2017! The new year will see a number of exciting initiatives not least of which is the launch of the exciting new Universal Rating System. While we wait for this service, here is the latest analysis from the January 2017 FIDE rating list.

Of note this month is that South Africa moved forward 8 places after both IM Henry Steel and FM Nicholas van der Nat returned to action after long periods of inactivity. The country improved its rating to number 70 in the world as a result and nudged back ahead of Zambia to be ranked 5th in Africa overall.

Egypt then added a very impressive total of 129 players to their live list in December and found itself just 1 player short of becoming the first African federation to register 1000 players.
Egypt now accounts for more than 25% of the rated players on the continent and remains the only African country ranked in the top 50 in the world.

Egypt also boasted the top 3 rated men as well as the top two rated ladies as at 1 January 2017. Algeria and Morocco are the only other countries with more than 1 player in the top 10 on either the open or ladies rating lists.

The KCF tournament calendar for the first half of 2017 will be published later this afternoon and we wish all players the best of luck in all events they participate in 2017.