The Zone 4.3 Team Championships is being held for the first time. FIDE, the world chess Federation is geographically organized by continent, zone and country. The FIDE Directory of 2003 listed 166 countries split into 21 zones, which are further aggregated into 4 continents.
Africa is divided into three zones which are basically geographically based. Zone 4.3 thus consists of the following countries in alphabetical order, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
At this particular event five countries are competing. The countries are Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Burundi and the host Mozambique. Interestingly Angola and Botswana traveled by road to Maputo. Each member country is entitled to field one team and the host may field a second team which they have declined to do. The team comprises of four players with one reserve.
There are three trophies for the first three places and then board prizes. Top Board will receive $250, second board $200, $150 for third, $100 for fourth and $50 for fifth board.
The event is being played as a double round robin and will thus have 8 rounds. Each day the games start at 10am and the next round at 16h00.
So why Mozambique I hear you asking! Mozambique has not hosted many chess events. They hosted during the late 1990’s an African Junior Championships. They regularly send players to compete in the African Individual championships. They have also sent players to a few Olympiads as well making their debut in 1996 in Armenia.
Mozambique officially is the Republic of Mozambique is a country in southeastern Africa, bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawia and Zambia to the northwest Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. It was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498 ( yes the same guy we all read about in primary school!) and colonized by Portugal in 1505. By 1510 The Portuguese had control of all the former sultanates on the east African coast. Portuguese trading posts and forts became regular ports of call on the new route to the east. ( Wikipedia)
In ancient times gold and, ivory and slaves from Zimbabwe were exported through the ports of Mozambique Island and Sofala. These trading centres were the southern most points of Islamic influence which had been created along the East African coast.
According to the CIA World Factbook Mozambique obtained their independence from Portugal on 25 June 1975. Economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought and a prolonged civil war hindered the country’s development until the 1990’s. The ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique ( Frelimo) party obtained formally abandoned Marxism in 1989, and a new constitution the following year provided for multiparty elections and a free market economy.
A United Nations peace agreement between Frelimo and the Mozambique National Resistance forces ended the fighting in 1992. In December 1994 Mozambique underwent a transition when Mr. Joaquim Chissano stepped down after 18 years in office. His elected successor Mr. Armando Emelio Guebuza has continued the sound economic policies that encouraged foreign investment. Mozambique has seen very strong economic growth since the end of the civil war largely due to post-conflict reconstruction.
Round 1 So at 11h30 on a sunny Maputo day the zone 4.3 championships kicked off. We decided at the captains meeting last night that Angola will get the bye because of their driving heroics!
We were paired against minnows Burundi. It was their international event. On board On Board One the Burundi board one held on for quite some time before being overpowered by International Master Gluckman. The game did go the distance in terms of time.
On board two Nicholas was happy to go to a line where Black held all the trumps. He expressed his surprise that White chose 11. Kd2?! Enjoy Nicholas’s technique.
On board three Johan soon had his opponent at sixes and sevens when he employed an unorthodox opening.
On board four Calvin like Johan making their debut for the senior Protea team was a bit nervous! He however secured the point after fifty moves after missing a clear piece win on move 33 with Kg5! Instead of Kg7. He responded after the game that he saw a clear winning plan already so there was no reason to deviate from his intention of queening a pawn!
A good start for SA! Botswana beat the hosts 3.5/0.5
Standings after round one
1. SA 4/4
2. Botswana 3.5/4
3. Mozambique 0.5/4
4. Angola bye
5. Burundi 0/4
(1) Muheto ,D - Van der Nat,N [B39]
As we had a bye for round two we decided to do some teambuilding so we decided to walk 6 kilometres to the Maputo beachfront. This allowed us to see the sights and sounds of the City. We noticed that many of the streets were named after historical figures like Karl Marx, Ho Chi Min and the ever present Mugabe street.
A the beachfront when we finally arrived the team decided to beef up a bit so we had for the first time Seafood Espetada Kebab which consists of a number of seafood dishes placed on a kebab. It was delicious and we made a note to return later in the week. We met and saw many South Africans working here in Maputo.
Mr. Eddie Price is the International Arbiter for the event. After handing in our team for round three we were able to prepare for round three.
Round 2 As we had a bye in round two I simply attach the games for your enjoyment.
Angola beat Botswana 2.5 to1.5 which I was pleased most. Mozambique beat Burundi 4.0
The standings after round two was:
1. Mozambique 4.5/8
2. Botswana 5/8
3. South Africa 4/4
4. Angola 2.5/4
5. Burundi 0/8
The team now prepared for the Round three and it was decided to rest Calvin and that Kgaugelo would make his debut against Botswana.
Pedro,A - Oathlhotse,P [B96]
The capital city is Maputo. The official language is Portuguese. The total area covered is 01 590 square kilometers.
In the 2007 census there were 21 million people.
The gross domestic product in 2005 was US$27billion.
The currency is the Mozambican metical which is trading at 3.10 to the rand.
Round 3 In round Three we had hard fought battles! IM David played an enterprising pawn sacrifice f4! Which freed up his pieces. Students should study the game for his active play.
On board two Nicholas illustrated his fine technique by outplaying Ignatius Njobvu who essayed Nf6 in a Caro- Kann which left him saddled with double pawns on the f file.
On board three Johan overpowered his opponent after his opponent went for too much with a queen and knight on the Kingside. Note the interesting mate!
On board 4 Kgaulego made his debut. He told me last night that he was going to sacrifice and then on move 44 he did! So we beat Botswana 4 nil which was a good score.
Our chief rivals Angola played their best and also won 4 nil.
Standings after round three was
1. SA 8/8
Mozambique is divided into ten provinces and one capital city with provincial status
The provinces are subdivided into 129 districts .
The districts are further divided into administrative posts.
The administrative posts are then further divided into localities.
Since 1998 33 municipalities have been created.
Round 4 Everyone expected Angola to beat Burundi 4 nil. Instead the celebration was with Burundi when they unexpectedly won on board one to secure their first international point. Well done to Yves!
For South Africa we won 3.5 to 0.5 Nicholas suffered an unexpected lapse of concentration on board one against the Mozambican board one Viageiro Mateus. His combination cost him a piece but he was able to salvage a draw what was arguably a lost position! As they say every half point counts! The three debutants Johan, Calvin and Kgauegelo are still firing on all cylinders. The big clash is tomorrow morning we Wednesday 16 July 2008 when SA plays Angola!
SA now leads Angola by 2 points due to their loss on Board one.
SA has 11.5/ 12
Angola 9.5 /12
Whilst Burundi recorded their first win with 1/12.
The games of the round follows:
More Mozambique facts
Executive Branch with the Chief of State being President Armando Guebuza since Feb 2005.
Head of Government is Prime Minister Luisa Diogo since February 2004.
The president is elected by popular vote for a five year term.
The last election was held on 1 December 2004.
Election results in 2004 was Guebuza 63% and Afonso Dhlakama 31%.
Round 5 In round five we played Angola and drew 2 all. On board one IM David lost in an Alehkine’s Defence to IM Aderito Pedro. Pedro came second at the African Individuals in Windhoek in September 2007.
On board two Nicholas soon found himself with opposite coloured bishops which made playing for a win difficult.
Johan on board three had an extra pawn but it was doubled and a draw was agreed after the position was repeated three times.
Calvin was the revelation of the round against Angola. After winning the opening battle he had to choose between a long term endgame win but our debutant decided that swashbuckling chess was the way and immediately launched a kingside attack with g4, h4 and of course f5!