Ghana had a good outing at the 43rd Chess Olympiad which took place in Batumi from 23rd September to the 6th of October, 2018 .
The event saw two of our young Olympiad talents (WCM Tobi Felix and CM Anthony Ajavon Obieni) reach the milestones of Candidate Master which brought great joy into the camp.
Both men and women teams finished their campaign garnering 8 and 7 match points respectively.
Some outstanding wins were from FM Hasford Kojo (2042) beating Meshkov Yuri, A (2313), CM Lionel Adu (1896) beating Palacios Perez, Manuel (2151), CM Anthony Ajavon Obieni (1902) beating CM Prescod Bryan (2039) and CM Joseph Jamena Mensah (1999) beating FM Del Castilho Martyn (2250) on the men’s side.
In the women section, Maud Benson (1334) beat Joshi Sindira (1584) from Nepal and WCM Felix Tobi beat Rawan Jamal (1471)
The Golden Knights recorded incredible performances against higher ranked teams such as IBCA (International Braille Chess Association) and Barbados on the men’s side and a draw against Nepal on the women’s side. Both performances served as morale boosters for the team.
43rd Olympiad Batumi 2018 Open
Team composition for federation GHA – Open
152. Ghana (GHA / RtgAvg:1984, Captain: Jurgensen Graham / TB1: 8 / TB2: 124)
|1||FM||Hasford John Kojo||2042||GHA||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||2,0||9||1936||2||2,46||-0,46||20||-9,2|
|2||CM||Mensah Joseph Jamena||1999||GHA||0||1||1||½||0||1||1||0||1||5,5||9||2130||4,5||2,95||1,55||20||31,0|
|3||IM||Anquandah Francis Eric||1992||GHA||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1,0||7||1781||1||2,76||-1,76||20||-35,2|
|4||Ajavon Anthony Obieni||1902||GHA||0||½||1||½||0||½||1||0||0||3,5||9||1898||3,5||3,68||-0,18||20||-3,6|
|5||CM||Adu Jnr Lionel||1896||GHA||0||0||½||1||1||0||0||1||0||1||4,5||10||1915||2,5||2,46||0,04||20||0,8|
Team composition for federation GHA – Women
136. Ghana (GHA / RtgAvg:1372, Captain: Sosu Edward / TB1: 7 / TB2: 83)
|1||WFM||Ayiku Angela Naa Amerley||1439||GHA||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||1||0||3,0||9||1403||2||1,84||0,16||20||3,2|
|4||Ashley Christiana Naa Merley||1246||GHA||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1,0||7||1033||0||1,19||-1,19||20||-23,8|
Majority of the team performed above their ratings with some players gaining favorable results against opponents 300+ Elo above them.
The Ghanaian women team were also under serious pressure at some point against Kuwait but pulled one back thanks to WFM Angela Ayiku, WCM Tobi Felix and Maud Benson.
There were some sad moments in the camp when the women team lost to lower-ranked teams such as Maldives and Kuwait and the men team drawing to Guam who were about 40pts below Ghana in rank.
Having put together the best ever teams in both men and women section, this was a missed opportunity for both Ghanaian teams to set records. Nevertheless, there were some lessons to take back home from the wins and losses — something that can prove valuable in massive events that has global participation.
CM Joseph Jamena Mensah emerged as the best Ghanaian performer in this section scoring 5.5/9. This brought him close to achieving a FIDE Master title. He however achieved a rating performance on 2130 points and gaining +31 Elo rating points.
It was not our best performance but was definitely our best representation so far. The team has gathered a great deal of precious lessons and yearns to strike back with an even better performance come Russia 2020.
We wish them all the best and ask for support from the government and private entities to help them achieve this feat.
Final Standings Open: 1-3: China, USA, Russia (18 points each); 4-5: Poland, England (17 points each); 6-14: India, Vietnam, Armenia, France, Ukraine, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria (16 points each).
Women: 1-2: China, Ukraine (18 points each); 3: Georgia-1 (17 points); 4-12: Russia, Hungary, Armenia, USA, India, Georgia-2, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, France (16 points each).