Upsets were witnessed Thursday with Africa Zone 4.2 Individual Chess Championship reaching into crucial stage in Mombasa.
The sixth round in the open section at Shaza Beach Hotel produced a twist that could ultimately decide the destiny of the tournament that ends on Saturday.
IM Arthur Ssegwanyi downed Grand Master from Egypt Abdelrahman Hesham to allow another Egyptian Grand Master Ahmed Adly take full advantage of the slip to go half a point clear at the top of the standings by beating FM Abdall Mohamed.
CM Bob Bibasa overcame Elhassan Atif to book a date with Adly in round 7 on board 1.
Inexplicably, Mehul Gohil made a horrendous blunder in a winning position to lose to FM Haruna Nsubuga, which send the latter to joint second position with Ssegwanyi on 5 points apiece. The two will now come face to face in a potentially explosive round 7 duel.
In the Ladies section, WFM Ivy Amoko dispatched WFM Goretti Angolikin to maintain her lead with 5 points, though WFM Sohayla Abdelmenaem remained in hot pursuit after defeating WCM Joyce Nyaruai to sit pretty on 4.5 points.
This result set them on a collision path in round 7, a game that will be closely followed by chess aficionados.
WCM Shakira Ampaire continued her resurgence after winning against the fancied Alaa Moaataz to keep within touching distance in third place with 4 points. The lose by Nyaruai relegated her to eighth place on 3 points, with Gloria Jumba and WFM Sasha Mongeli occupying positions 10 and 11 respectively having amassed 2.5 points each.
The event which has attracted participants from 11 countries from the 13 affiliated federations in Zone 4.2 will see its curtains fall tomorrow.
“This is indeed a historic moment, not only for Kenya but the region as a whole, since we have a record number of federations competing in the zonal championship,” enthused the Chess Kenya President Bernard Wanjala, who also doubles up as the African Chess Confederation’s Vice-President.