International Master Femi Balogun of Nigeria won the second paid Africa Chess blitz tournament on Lichess in September 2017. Many will remember the Nigerian chess player from the World Cup in Tbilisi Georgia where he played the world chess champion Magnus Carlsen in the first round. In the run-up to the World Chess Cup Balogun became a star among the African chess community and beyond for being the first African ever to be given an opportunity to play a reigning world champion in a world tournament.
In the second paid Africa Chess Blitz Tournament on Lichess, a tournament that was 90 minutes long with the time control of 2 + 2, Balogun played 16 games and his win rate was at 88%. His performance rating during the tournament was 2386. The tournament saw at least 76 chess players from across the African continent battling it out on the Lichess platform. After 90 minutes of play there was only one clear winner in the tournament and that was none other that Balogun of Nigeria.
Balogun was in contention for the top spot throughout the tournament. Out of 16 games he lost just 2 games and had 50 points by the end of the tournament. In second place was Joshua304 and Tactinhos2900 (Prince Daniel Mulenga of Zambia).
For his efforts the master received 50 dollars.
Interestingly Balogun had a berserk rate of 13%. This means in some of his games he felt comfortable enough to play the game with his Clock time reduced by half. With a time control of 2+2 in the tournament, berserking means your time would now be 1 minute. You lose any increment when you berserk. The advantage is that you get extra points when you win a game you have berserked.
Asked to comment on his victory Balogun had this to say, “I think I played well enough to win the second lichess paid blitz tournament.” How modest can you get?
From what we saw Balogun plays chess while his contemporaries move pieces.
You can replay the games from the tournament on the following link.
Africa Chess Blitz Tournament on Lichess, 30 September 2017