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Kenyan Ace to Compete in 2024 African Youth Chess Championships

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Tiffany Gathigia Maina, an 11-year-old chess prodigy from Kenya, has been selected to represent her country at the 2024 African Youth Chess Championships in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tiffany’s remarkable journey in chess began at the age of eight when she clinched a bronze medal in her debut tournament in 2021.

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Since then, she has continuously displayed her exceptional talent, securing an impressive collection of two gold trophies, five bronze, and two silver medals in national chess tournaments. Tiffany’s recent 8th place finish in the under-12 girls category at the Africa Chess Championship earned her the chance to compete internationally and represent Kenya.

The African Youth Chess Championships, organized under the auspices of the African Chess Confederation (ACC) and the Gauteng Chess Federation, will be held at the prestigious Kopanong Hotel & Conference Centre in Gauteng, South Africa. This esteemed event will bring together the brightest young minds from across the continent, featuring six age categories: Under 08, Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16, and 18.

Tiffany’s parents are reaching out to the community for financial support amounting to $3,020 (Ksh 400,000) to cover her travel and accommodation expenses for the upcoming tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa, which will take place from June 15 to June 23, 2024.

Contributions can be made through Mpesa paybill 891300, Account 97420. Your support will make a significant difference in helping Tiffany achieve her dream.

The tournament will adhere to FIDE regulations, with a 9-round Swiss system and a time control of 90 minutes plus a 30-second increment per move. The games will be played using digital clocks, and results will be published on www.chess-results.com.

Tiffany’s selection to represent Kenya in this championship is a testament to her exceptional skill and unwavering commitment to chess. Her participation in the 2024 African Youth Chess Championships will inspire other young chess enthusiasts, proving that dedication and passion can turn dreams into reality.

We call upon the Kenyan community to rally behind Tiffany and provide the necessary support. Let’s come together to ensure that Tiffany can proudly represent Kenya on this international stage.

About the 2024 African Youth Chess Championships: Rules, Schedule, and More

The 2024 African Youth Chess Championships organised by the African Chess Confederation (ACC) and the Gauteng Chess Federation, promises to bring together the brightest young chess talents from across the continent.

Here are the key details about the tournament:

Tournament Format and Regulations

  1. Swiss System: The championships will be played per FIDE regulations as a 9-round Swiss tournament.
  2. Time Control: Each player will have 90 minutes with a 30-second increment per move starting from move one.
  3. Digital Clocks: All games will use digital clocks, and pairings will be published on www.chess-results.com.
  4. Draw Offers: Draw offers are not allowed before Black’s 30th move.
  5. Default Time: The default time will be 15 minutes for all rounds.

Tie-Breaking Procedures

In the event of a tie, the following criteria will be used to determine the overall winner:

  1. Direct encounter between the tied players.
  2. Buchholz Cut 1 (Buchholz score reduced by the lowest score of the opponents).
  3. Buchholz.
  4. Sonneborn-Berger.
  5. Most wins.

Awards and Titles

  1. Trophies and Medals: The top three players in each age group category will receive a trophy, along with Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals.
  2. Qualification: Winners of each age group category in both the Open and Girls Sections will earn personal rights to participate in the 2025 World Youth Chess Championships and the 2025 World Cadets Chess Championships.
  3. FIDE Titles: According to the FIDE handbook, direct titles will be awarded. These include:
    • U18 Open/Girls: Gold – IM/WIM title; Silver & Bronze – FM/WFM title.
    • U16 Open/Girls: Gold – FM/WFM title plus IM/WIM norm; Silver & Bronze – CM/WCM title.
    • U14+U12 Open/Girls: Gold – FM/WFM title; Silver & Bronze – CM/WCM title.
    • U8+U10 Open/Girls: Gold, Silver & Bronze – CM/WCM title.

Tournament Schedule

The detailed schedule for the tournament is as follows:

  • Saturday, June 15, 2024:
    • Arrival
    • Opening Ceremony at 18:00
  • Sunday, June 16, 2024:
    • Technical Meeting at 10:00
    • Round 1 at 15:00
  • Monday, June 17, 2024:
    • Round 2 at 09:00
    • Round 3 at 16:00
  • Tuesday, June 18, 2024:
    • Round 4 at 15:00
  • Wednesday, June 19, 2024:
    • Round 5 at 09:00
    • Round 6 at 16:00
  • Thursday, June 20, 2024:
    • Round 7 at 15:00
  • Friday, June 21, 2024:
    • Round 8 at 15:00
  • Saturday, June 22, 2024:
    • Round 9 at 09:00
    • Prize Giving and Closing Ceremony at 16:00
  • Sunday, June 23, 2024:
    • Departure at 10:00

Arbitration and Appeals

  1. Arbitration Team: The Chief Arbiter will be appointed by the ACC President, with additional members selected in consultation with the Local Organizing Committee.
  2. Appeals Committee: The committee will consist of three members and two reserves. Protests regarding decisions must be submitted in writing within 30 minutes after the game, accompanied by R2000 (Ksh 13,300) deposit. If the appeal is successful, the deposit is returned; if baseless, it is forfeited to the Gauteng Chess Federation.

For more details on direct titles, visit the FIDE handbook.

Read Also: Kenyan chess player disguises as woman to win championship

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