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Lebanese Chess Fever

That is the least with which I can describe the chess situation among the Lebanese players.  In April, WFM Maya Jalloul shared 3rd place in the Women Sharjah Cup. In the meantime, the current champion FM Ibrahim Chahrour and his runner-up FM Ahmad Najjar participated in the very strong Asian Individual Championship, scoring 4 points each.

Then in May, the school (Notre Dame de Jamhour) held the National Youth Individual Championships (from under 8 till under 18 years old categories – Boys and girls), where more than 100 (!!!!) players took part in this festival, not to mention the presence of their parents, adding a sweet flavor to the event.

The peak of the heat was crowned yesterday at the closing ceremony of the Francophonie Championships, held at the 5 stars hotel Golden Tulip, by the presence of the FIDE President his excellency Kirsan ilyumzhinov, who congratulated the LCF President Mr. Nabil Badr for winning the election for the presidency of the Mediterranean Chess Association. Add to this, the final stage of the Individual championship will start this week. It is a chess fever!!

Back to the peak of the heat. 69 players from 14 countries took part in the 2nd edition of the Classical Francophonie championship (and its 1st edition of the Blitz championship). Your servant was the chief arbiter of both of them.

14 countries took part in both championships. In the classical one, 20 titled players, including 4 Grandmasters (!!) and 1 Woman Grandmaster, made the event a very strong one especially that the sole winner’s name was unclear to define till the last round. A very decisive last round indeed, as the Lebanese FM Faisal Khairallah has to face with the black pieces, on board 1, the trainer of the Lebanese Olympic team, the French GM Nikolay Legky. What made it spicy is that Faisal was in a must-win situation in order to make his first IM norm. And he succeeded!! Congratulations Faisal.

Faisal shared the first place with the Egyptian tornado GM Essam El Gindy, with 7.5 each. Essam was declared the champion due to the adopted tie-break system (the only loss of Faisal in the event against Essam). GM Igor Efimov and GM Nikolay Legky took third and fourth places respectively, with 7 points each.

As it was a mixed event, the Woman Winner was the Egyptian WGM Mona Khaled (5.5 points), Woman first runner-up the Lebanese WFM Maya Jalloul (5 points), and in the 3rd place came the Lebanese WIM  Knarik Mouradian (5 points). Yes. She is back!!

The special prizes for the winners of Under 2200 and under 2000 Elo categories made this championship a fighting one.

With the participation of 66 players, the Blitz Championship was hosted by Jezzine Municipality. Can you guess who won it? Yes, it was the Lebanese IM Fadi Eid, scoring 7.5 points (solo). GM Essam El Gindi, the Swiss IM Richard Gerber and the Lebanese FM Ahmad Najjar took the 2-4th places respectively, scoring 7 points each.


You can check the detailed results and download the games from the LCF official site:

So, a couple of days of rest are needed before the start of the Final Individual Championship. C U there.



40th Lebanese Individual Championship – Final Stage

Round 1: Bang on first board Honored by the LCF, as appointing me as Chief Arbiter for its 40th championship, I got the opportunity to observe in somewhat (!?) the round 1 games progress. It is worth to mention that the 12 finalists are using the Olympiad timing system (40 moves in 90 minutes, followed …

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