Chess

WGM Wafa Shrook defends her African Women Chess Championship title

by Oliver Shalala in Windhoek, Namibia

Egypt’s taliswoman chess player WGM Wafa Shrook defended her African Chess Championship title in Windhoek, Namibia when she won her round 9 game against WCM Fisher Michelle M of South Africa to amass 7.5 points.

And Wafa, who plays for a chess club called Etihad Elshorta in her home town of El-Mahalla El-Kubra, said she had to miss the 2014 African Junior Chess Championships where she planned to play in the open section because she was preparing for the African Championships.

“From the time I got the WGM title in Tunisia [during the last African Chess Championships], I have been proud to be the second WGM in Egypt. [The other WGM is Mona Khaled who has a rating of 2125] But I want more. I wanted to play in the African Junior Chess Championships in Angola earlier this month in the Open section,” Wafa revealed. “A win there would have given me an IM title. I want to be an IM and then a GM eventually.”

WGM Wafa Shrook

WGM Wafa Shrook

The win in Namibia capped a brilliant year for the Egyptian who also won the ladies category of the 2014 Africa Zone 4.2 Chess Championship held in Cairo, Egypt, with a score of 6.5 out of 7. Wafa was part of the Egyptian women’s team which received a category gold medal at the 2014 World Chess Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway.

She won the Women’s African Chess Championship in 2013 held in Tunisia and that qualified her for the 2014 Women’s World Chess Championship.

The 2014 Women’s World Chess Championship will be played as a 64-player knockout tournament. It was originally scheduled from 11 to 31 October 2014 but problems in finding a sponsor and host city eventually forced FIDE to announce the postponement of the Championship. On 25 November 2014 it was announced it will take part in Sochi, Russia starting on 15 March 2015 and it is now referred to as the Women’s World Chess Championship 2015 (knock-out) which will be a knock-out tournament, to decide the women’s world champion.

In addition to the 2014 World Championships, both her wins at the zonal and continental chess showpieces have now qualified her for the 2015-2016 African Grand Prix, a series of 6 chess tournaments featuring Africa’s top chess players and hosted across Africa.

Shrook

Shrook Wafa, born in 1997 and with a FIDE rating of 2061, by virtue of these two wins, has also qualified to the World Chess Championship held in March 2015 and the one to be held later in the year.

Ton win the African title, Wafa started her tournament by beating WCM Nepando Jolly of Namibia. She then lost to WIM Solomons Anzel of South Africa in a game which looked like one the Egyptian would regret. A draw in the next round against WFM Du Toit Sune of South Africa further worsened her situation.

However, with the championship slipping away she stringed together 6 straight wins from round 4 beating Eulentin Jessee (0) of Seychelles, Rosalina Sonia (1769) of Angola, Zambia’s WFM Tembo Epah (1889) who was leading the tournament at the time, WIM Frick Denise (1913) of South Africa, WIM Vilhete Vania Fausto Da T (1812) of Mozambique in round 8 and lastly WCM Fisher Michelle M.

She ended the tournament with 7.5 points out of a possible 9.

WGM Wafa Shrook relaxing with Egyptian chess players IM Ameir Moheb and IM Farahat Ali

WGM Wafa Shrook relaxing with Egyptian chess players IM Ameir Moheb and IM Farahat Ali

One of the games She played is shown below courtesy of chess-db.com:

Denise Frick (RSA) vs. Shrook Wafa (Egy).

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. g4 Bd7 10. h4 Rc8 11. h5 Ne5 12. Bh6 Bxh6 13. Qxh6 Qa5 14. Qd2 Be6 15. hxg6 fxg6 16. Be2 Bc4 17. O-O Bxe2 18. Ndxe2 Nc4 19. Qd4 e5 20. Qd3 Qb6+ 21. Kh2 Nxb2 22. Qd2 Nc4 23. Qd3 Qe3 24. Kg3 h5 25. gxh5 Nxh5+ 26. Kh2 Qxd3 27. cxd3 Nd2 28. Rf2 Nxf3+ 29. Kh1 Nh4 30. Rh2 Rxc3 31. Nxc3 Ng3+ 32. Kg1 Nf3+ 33. Kg2 Nxh2 34. Kxg3 Nf1+ 35. Kg4 Ne3+ 36. Kg5 Kg7 37. Re1 Rf3 38. Rg1 Rh3 0-1

“The opening played in this game is Panov Variation, Sicilian Dragon (ECO: B76), established by the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.g4. This opening was very rarely played by Denise Frick. Also Shrook Wafa played the B76 opening very rarely.”

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