22:05, Monday, 25th January, 2016

Sandile Mfundisi emerged victorious at Prestige section of the 2016 Lesotho Open as he held his nerve in the final round to head home a 1/2 point ahead of the field of 44 players.

He was made to wait before claiming the prize however as the final standings were decided by board 1 match which proved to be the last game in the entire event to finish. Clive Mthunzi eventually had to agree to a draw on board 1 after pushing for many hours against the local hero Tokelo Klaas and this left both players in a tie for second place. They were joined by WFM Jesse February who beat the ever consistent Alfred Pesa in the final round to also secure her place on the podium.

Klaas ended as the top ranked Lesotho player and earned over 60 FIDE rating points for his efforts. He is expected to improve to number 3 in Lesotho as a result of his efforts.

Congratulations are also due to Khanyapa Theko; Nyofane Katleho; Motlohi Motlatsi; Mohlahli Motsie; Maepe Thabang; Sekhoto Lehlohonolo; Motlomelo Khotso and Mohale Lebona
who all achieved full FIDE rating results in the tournament.

There were over 120 players participating across the 3 sections which also saw 40+ players in the U/14 section and a further 40+ players in the Open category.

We look forward to seeing the overall impact of the tournament when the February FIDE rating list is released next week.

Final results are available at http://www.chess-results.com/tnr202904.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=7&wi=821 and the games from the top 10 boards in each round will be uploaded shortly for those that wish to retrieve them.

20:22, Saturday, 23rd January, 2016

The second days play at the Lesotho Open has produced some fascinating results as well as a good share of upsets. The local players giving have given and excellent account of themselves and the overall results are extremely encouraging for the future of chess in Lesotho.

There has clearly been some significant improvement in the playing strength of many Lesotho players over the course of the last year and this is showing in the results.

After 4 rounds, Clive Mthunzi stands proudly at the top of the leader-board on 4/4. Time will tell however whether he can continue his good form tomorrow as he will need to play well to overcome the pack chasing him.

The latest standings at the end of round 4 as well as the draw for round 5 are available at http://www.chess-results.com/tnr202904.aspx?lan=1&art=2&rd=5&wi=821.
Games from the top boards will also be uploaded in due course.

We wish all the players in the Mountain Kingdom the best of luck for the final 3 rounds which will conclude tomorrow.

12:53, Friday, 22nd January, 2016

First round draw for Lesotho Open is now published. Good luck to all the players!

09:48, Tuesday, 12th January, 2016

A great article highlighting the impact that MiniChess is having in East Africa between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda! Congrats to Githinji Hinga, Kevin Ganza, Alain Patience Niyibizi and Eng Robert Katende who are all doing amazing work on the program in the region.

19:17, Monday, 11th January, 2016

The dates for the 2016 Rwanda Open have now also been announced and this event will take place from January 29th until 1st February at the Classic Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda.

The tournament will be FIDE rated and will be played over 7 rounds at a rate of 90/90 + 30 seconds per move. Players from across East Africa are invited to participate.

Interested players are asked to contact Mr Alain Niyibizi at niyibizialain@gmail.com or Mr Kevin Ganza at ganzakevin84@gmail.com in order to register for the tournament.

The list of entrants for this event will be updated in due course at http://www.chess-results.com/fed.aspx?lan=1&fed=RWA

16:16, Monday, 11th January, 2016

The 2016 BMI Lesotho Open has been postponed by a week and will now take place from 22 - 24 January 2016. All other details remain unchanged as per the updated tournament brochure which is available below.

There are already 41 players registered to participate in what is shaping up to be a great tournament in the mountain kingdom. The latest players list is available at http://www.chess-results.com/tnr202904.aspx?lan=1.

Players who still wish to register are asked to contact FA Ts'eliso Motloheloa (President Chess Federation of Lesotho)
at +266 5897 3766 or via email at motloheloatseliso@yahoo.com.

11:59, Tuesday, 5th January, 2016

The January 2016 FIDE rating lists included some significant milestones for a number of countries and also brought to an end a year which has seen some incredible growth.

The highlight of the month is undoubtedly the introduction of Burkina Faso to the world of FIDE rated chess. The invitational tournament which was run by KCF Africa in Ouagadougou in December produced no less than 12 new FIDE rated players and sees Burkina Faso enter the FIDE ranking list for the very first time ranked at world number 173.

Both Rwanda (+7) and Tanzania (+5) also made good gains whilst Namibia feel sharply after many of its top players dropped off the list due to inactivity.

On the Individual lists, both Kenya and Rwanda saw changes at the top of their open rankings as Peter Gilruth reclaimed the number one ranking in Kenya and Fidele Mutabazi did the same in Rwanda. The list of Top 20 African Ladies welcomed back WIM Tlale Tshepang who also re-claimed the top of the South African Woman's ranking list after comfortably winning the SA Woman's Closed Championships in December.

Some of the African countries that have produced phenomenal growth in the number of their FIDE rated players over the course of the last year are:

Countries Growth %
Burkina Faso 1100%
Swaziland 650%
Mauritius 500%
Madagascar 384%
Kenya 285%
Ghana 213%
Cote d Ivoire 200%
Tanzania 180%

KCF Africa is proud of the difference we are making on the African continent and we look forward to a productive 2016 as we continue to do so in the new year.

The full lists and country analysis based on the January 2016 FIDE rating lists are posted at http://www.kcfafrica.com/en/content/country-rankings.

11:47, Tuesday, 5th January, 2016

Hello grandmaster its good to be talking to you i think you try by all means to invite zimbabwe chess players to the tournament for africa

06:34, Tuesday, 5th January, 2016

The South African Junior Chess Championships got underway at the University of Cape Town yesterday and have attracted more than 2100 kids between the ages of 8 and 20 years old.

The annual SAJCC tournament is one of the largest junior sporting events in the country and it is fantastic to see the number of kids participating from across the country.

From next year, the tournament will be open to players from outside South Africa and it will be fantastic to see teams from neighboring countries participating alongside the best juniors from South Africa!

We wish all participants and teams the best of luck!

15:10, Monday, 4th January, 2016

The Open and Ladies sections of the 2016 Zimbabwe Open concluded yesterday with WFM Lorita Mwango and Godwin Phiri completing a rout for the Zambian contingent at this years event.

Lorita dominate the ladies section and recorded a comfortable win with a score of 7.5/8 ahead of Zimbabwe national teammates Colletta Wakuruwarewa (6.5) and Rhodha Masiyazi (6).

Godwin beat out a strong field which included a number of the players from the masters section to emerge victorious with a score of 6.5/7. He beat Elisha Thabo from Zimbabwe on tie-break despite Elisha recording impressive wins against both Spencer Masango and IM Kelvin Chumfwa.

New-comer Mugove Muririma topped the group on 6/7 to record an impressive place third finish.

KCF Africa would like to congratulate the Zimbabwe Chess team on an outstanding event which ultimately attracted more than 300 players across the 3 main events. Participation numbers are continuing to grow in Zimbabwe and we look forward to the emergence of new players who will no doubt benefit from the high level of competition that was experienced over the last few days.

Final results and standings from the open and ladies sections are available at the links below:

Open Section:

Ladies Section: