African Elite Grand Prix Arena V, The July closing edition



Event: Africa Grand Prix Elite Arena July, 2018

Time Control: 3+0

Duration: 90 Minutes


Duration: July, 2018.

Numbers of Participants: 178 Players, Over 59 Titled Players.


1. IM Odion Aikhoje (Odirovski)

Points: 191

Country: Nigeria

Prize: $120

2. CM Donaldo Paiva (Moztiger)

Points: 161

Country: Mozambique

Prize: $80

3. Mr Keith Khumalo (Gupta Approach)

Points: 159

Country: South Africa

Prize: $40

The revamped Africa Elite Grand Prix Arena kicked off on the 1st of July, 2018 and ran throughout the month.

It was sponsored by Avantline Design Limited. Participants of this ever growing event emanate from various Africa Chess Playing Nations!

The Lichess chess playing platform/app was adopted and used for the entire duration of the tournament.

After 5 weeks of intense intellectual jousting, the Olympiad Gold Medalist, International Master (IM) Odion Aikhoje (@Odirovski) from Nigeria finished the tournament as the overall clear winner.

To achieve this feat, he finished first in 2/5 of the entire Grand Prix and raked in a massive 191 Cumulative Points.

He was also very consistent as he appeared in the top 10 in all 5 editions in the month.

This is not a mean feat in a star studded field, as we have at the Grand Prix.

In second Position, is the Mozambique National Champion, Candidate Master (CM) Donaldo Paiva (@Moztiger) with a 161 Cumulative points.

He, as well, was consistent in the top 10 of the Grand Prix, 5 times.

It was an interesting event to the end as it took only two points to separate the Second Place from the Third Position.

A late draw secured by the CM was the saving grace to elevate him as he was standing on the same 159 Points with third place few seconds to the end of the event.

The third Position is occupied by the fast rising South African kid, Keith Khumalo (@Gupta_Approach).

The Chess Prodigy, recently adopted as a protégé of Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, has been flexing his chess skills and has always maintained a difficult top 10 finish at the Grand Prix given the high level of opponents participating.

His ‘approach’ include Berserking his opponents to earn higher cumulative Points.

He also crowned his efforts with a first place position on the last week of the event.

And his reward is a 159 Cumulative Points to earn him a Third place.


The main challenge faced is getting more of the Africa’s best blitz players to participate.

A lot of them were contacted and they were reluctant in joining the train in the first month.

Another challenge faced is the timing of the event as some Africa countries will have to play into Monday if they have to participate and this may have an impact on their morning activities.


At some point during the Arena, we had over 100 people watching our tournament and we believe we can get more with the level of quality we keep working hard to achieve.

After further deep level meeting between our CEO and some of the best African Blitz players at the Cote D’ivoire Invitational last week, we are happy to announce that a lot of them have committed to participating!

This includes GM Amin Bassem, GM Kenny Solomon, GM Haddouche Mohamed, fast Rising IM Fy Rakotomaharo, IM David Silva, IM Kayonde Andrew, IM Oladapo Adu, FM Adegboyega Adebayo (Dabee) to set up what will be a star studded African Chess Elite Grand Prix Arena.

This will provide room for even bigger sponsorship and awareness for the Chess game in Africa.


The July Edition of the grand Prix Arena has largely been a huge success with clear winners emerging in all the advertised positions.

We look forward to a more exciting Grand Prix Arena in August as IM Odion Aikhoje will be hoping to defend his territory against the marauding lions that will be encroaching on his territory next month.

Our sincere appreciation goes to our ever faithful Sponsor Avantline Design Ltd for staying true to us.

Avantline Design Ltd is an architectural design and Design and Build company based in Lagos State, Nigeria.

They provide architectural designs, renovation works, facility management and project management and specialize in the following:

Residential Developments

Mixed- used Developments

Institutional Developments

Industrial Facilities

Medical Buildings


We also appreciate the individuals that mooted the idea of Sponsoring the brilliancy prize to the tune of $10.

Our biggest appreciation also goes to our esteemed members that took out their time to watch the exhilarating games played throughout the events.


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