We all know that Africa has now got 4 zones compared to the 3 before. The zonal championship for new zone 4.4 is beginning today. It is open to all Federations belonging to zone 4.4 only and is being organized by the Ghana Chess Federation in their capital city of Accra. There are seven Federations participating in the open section including Ivory Coast, Cameron, host nation Ghana, Liberia – who is a new member of FIDE, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo.
32 players are participating with two International Masters, six FIDE Masters and 6 Candidate Masters. This is almost half the field with titles. The top seed in the event is FM Daniel Anwuli of Nigeria. Nigeria leads the way of top seeds with the first six coming from the country and biggest representation in the field apart from Ghana.
The women’s section is going to be really interesting as there are only 2 Federations represented: Nigeria and Ghana. And in total there are only 4 players. Will this tournament be a single round robin or a double round robin? The only other zonal of that small size in Africa was where Charlize van Zyl won the WIM title with a 5.5/7 score. The players in this tournament in rating order are Toritsemuwa Ofowino (Nigeria), Angela Naa Amerley Ayiku (Ghana), Dorcas Allotey (Ghana) and Christiana Naa Merley Ashley (Ghana).