Gertrude Banini stuns with stellar debut, clinches National Women’s title at 2023 Ghana National Chess Championship Finals

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The culmination of the 2023 Ghana National Chess Championship Finals featured two 10-player round-robin tournaments, one in the Open section and the other in the Ladies section.

This five-day event unfolded from December 26 to December 30, 2023, at the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra.

Participants in both sections included the top 5 highest-rated players and the top 5 finishers from the initial Qualifiers phase, held from December 1-3.

In the Open Section, CM Kwabena Adu-Poku, the top seed and defending champion, displayed an impressive performance, securing 7/9 and claiming his third consecutive national title.

Multiple-time national Champion FM John Hasford secured second place with 6.5/9, being the sole participant to defeat the champion. Clinton Cephas Fomevor secured the bronze with 5.5 points.

CM Kwabena Adu-Poku, the top seed and defending champion

In a tie for fourth place, IM Francis Anquandah and Bernard Anhwere, along with rising star Daniel Frempong-Smart, emerged.

The first two qualified for the national chess team (the Golden Knights) based on superior scores in direct encounters.

In the Ladies Section, a fairy tale unfolded as newcomer Gertrude Banini delivered an outstanding performance, garnering 8 out of 9 points and clinching the title of National Women’s Champion.

Gertrude Banini, 2023 Ghana National Chess Women’s Champion

She outshone Zone 4.2 women’s Champion Maud Benson and 5-time National Women’s Champion WCM Tobi Felix.

Zonal champion Maud secured second place, trailing the champion by half a point, while the 5-time National champion Tobi earned the bronze with 6.5 points.

The top 5 players in both sections secured coveted spots on the Ghana National Chess Team, known as the Golden Knights.

This accomplishment grants them the opportunity to represent Ghana at the 45th World Chess Olympiad and the 13th African Games.

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