The Africa Chess group had a wonderful launch of the #AfricaBlitz chess tournaments on Monday. At least four tournaments were played with a total of 30 players taking part. The first tournament took place around 1800 hours Central African Time but we soon realised that the starting time was possibly too early and subsequent tournaments will start at least an hour later.
Lots of excitement before and during tournaments
There was a great deal of excitement as several players from various countries around the continent battled for top honours in the Blitz chess tournaments. Some players were keen to get a chance to settle scores after losing it in tense encounters. The following countries were represented: South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda and Namibia with a number at least one International Master (IM) taking part.
By the time the dust settled in the late evening it was quite easy to see who the strongest chess players were the based on the Tournament results. We had at least one international master in the tournament and two FIDE Masters which added to the excitement. Among the winners in the tournaments were Keith Khumalo (South Africa), Harold Wanyama (Uganda), Charles Hapaku (Zambia), Shipping and Bruce Mubayiwa (Zimbabwe). Congratulations to all the winners.
Here are the results
Only one tournament in the evening planned initially
Initially the plan was only to have 1 tournament in the evening but after the first tournament there was so much excitement amongst the players that we had another 3 tournaments one after the other. The first tournament was 80 minutes long which was the longest tournament of the evening. After that tournament the players asked if they could have another tournament and these requests continued until the fourth tournament had been played.
There’s no doubt the numbers of players in the tournament will increase from here. If Africa cannot beat the rest of the world in chess we are going to use technology to the very best of our ability to bridge the gap.
Why the LiChess platform for our tournaments
On Lichess it takes just a few minutes to set up a chess tournament. The platform is so easy to use and you can even set up a chess tournament using your phone. The interface is very intuitive and user-friendly.
We strongly feel that LiChess was built for the love of chess, not money. The design of the platform is very clean and elegant. One very important thing for us is that everybody gets all features for free. The amazing thing is that there is zero advertisement on the platform so no annoying or distracting ads in the app. The cherry on top is that the LiChess entirely Open Source.
Join us on to Telegram
If you want to play in our tournaments, join us on Telegram. However, only Africans are eligible for the money prizes on Saturday. You can join us on Telegram using the following link: Africa Chess Telegram Group
Not your usual blitz tournament
The Africa Blitz online chess tournaments are not your usual tournaments. They have their own unique rules based on LiChess. It is possible for someone to will all their games but not win the tournament as was the case with Charles Hapaku. He won all his games but could only take third place. How was that possible? Firstly his games took too long, he played less games than the other players who placed higher than him.
How are scores calculated during the tournament?
A win has a base score of 2 points, a draw: 1 point, and a loss is worth no points. If you win two games consecutively you will start a double point streak, represented by a flame icon. The following games will continue to be worth double points until you fail to win a game.
That is, a win will be worth 4 points, a draw: 2 points, and a loss will remain worth no points.
For example, two wins followed by a draw will be worth 6 points: 2 + 2 + (2 x 1)
The Arena Berserk is something that can turn a game on its head. When a player clicks the Berserk button at the beginning of the game, they lose half of their clock time, but the win is worth one extra tournament point.
Going Berserk in time controls with an increment also cancels the increment. (1+2 is an exception, it gives 1+0). One player did this in one of the games last night and he found himself with just one and half minutes for the game and no increment. Needless to say he lost the game.
Berserk is not available for games with zero initial time (0+1, 0+2).
Berserk only grants an extra point if you play at least 7 moves in the game.
How is the winner decided?
The player(s) with the most points at the conclusion of the tournament’s set time limit will be announced winner(s).
How does the pairing work?
At the beginning of the tournament, players are paired based on their rating.
As soon as you finish a game, return to the tournament lobby: you will then be paired with a player close to your ranking. This ensures minimum wait time, however you may not face all other players in the tournament.
Play fast and return to the lobby to play more games and win more points. – This is very important. If your games are very long your chances of winning more points are lowered.
How does it end?
The tournament has a countdown clock. When it reaches zero, the tournament rankings are frozen, and the winner is announced. Games in progress must be finished, however they don’t count for the tournament.
Other important rules
You are required to make your first move within 20 seconds of your turn. Failing to make a move in this time will forfeit the game to your opponent. Drawing the game within the first 10 moves of play will earn neither player any points.