The 2018 Ghana Presidents Cup got under way at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra. The first day’s proceedings saw the first two of seven scheduled rounds completed and had set the tone for a fine event.
A strong international field had been attracted featuring foreign players from Nigeria (10), Liberia (2), Cote d’Ivoire (2), Kenya (1) and Togo (1). This was an excellent results for the Ghana Chess Federation as they sought to prepare both the open and ladies National teams for the forthcoming Chess Olympiad in Batumi.
The opening skirmishes largely went in favor of the top seeds and the strong Nigerian contingent occupied 6 of the top 8 places. These 6 players have all started with a perfect 2/2 and are joined by Ghana’s top ranked player, FM John Hasford and by FM Simplice Degondo from Cote d’Ivoire.
The third round saw some important clashes as Simplice took on IM Oladapo Adu and FM Ochuko Onovughe faced John on board 2.
The final day’s action at the 2018 Ghana Presidents Cup could hardly have been more dramatic and congratulations are due to CM Abiola Akinseye who fought through two extremely tough rounds to emerge as the clear winner of the event.
Having started the day in a four way tie for second and a full point off the lead, Abiola knew that nothing short of two wins would be required and this is exactly what he eventualy delivered. His 6th round victim was the local FM John Hasford but he also benefited from some significant help when his compatriot Kennedy Onokpite defeated the erstwhile tournament leader (FM David Erhabor) with the black pieces in the same round.
This pair of results set up a showdown in the final round and Abiola eventually emerged victorious as he defeated Kennedy to record a total of 6/7 and top the table on his own. FM Simplice Degondo from Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria’s Abdulrahman Abdulraheem both scored final round wins as well to end in joint second place on 5.5/7.
FM John Hasford and IM Francis Anquandah were the top local players as both scored 4.5/7 to end in a tie for 9th place. FM David Erhabor was easily the top veteran but will be slightly disappointed after losing both his games on the final day to end in 4th place!
Nigeria’s Sandra Aramude also completed an excellent tournament as she found herself playing on board 4 in the final round of the tournament! She ended with 4/7 and earned herself the best lady prize as well as 44 Rating Points for her efforts.
An entertaining blitz event was held late in the afternoon and this was won by the Nigerian duo of Ochuko Onovughe and Kennedy Onokpite who shared first place with 6/7. Abiola ended in sole 3rd place with a total of 5.5/7.
Final results and standings are now available at
http://chess-results.com/tnr364308.aspx?lan=1 and all photos are once again provided with the kind permission of the Ghana Chess Association.
Mr Peter van der Wurff, the Managing Director from local sponsor Reiss & Co (Ghana) Ltd (https://www.reisscogh.com/) was also in attendance to assist with the prize giving. Reiss & Co is a multi-divisional technical trading house with interests in a diverse group of industries including agriculture, veterinary, pharmaceuticals, computers and security equipment and mechanical equipment. We also wish to thank them for their ongoing support and for partnering with KCF Africa and the Ghana Chess Association to make the tournament a great success!