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2nd All Female Online Oware Championship - 2021

The 2nd All Female Online Oware Championship that took place on Sunday 26th September 2021 on the playok platform was a hotly contested championship, and turned out to be an even more exhilarating competition than the first edition. Out of 44 registrations from 15 countries, 22 players from 9 countries participated, more or less the same as the first edition. The Ugandan contingent are to be commended for providing 10 of the 22 players who participated.

As usual some players had difficulty in signing up for the championship. These issues were overcome with perseverance and to our knowledge only one player wasn’t able to participate due to her name not being added to the contacts list in the last couple of minutes. Players and organisers are learning with each championship, so there were less players not able to sign up for the tournament as in previous competitions.

The big question that this championship would answer is whether the Asian players from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan & South Korea would repeat the same feat of domination in the first edition of this championship. Where they took the top four positioned places, with the Ghanaian player Lydia Ayamga coming 5th. Whether the Afrikan female players were up to their skill level and could get a look in the top positions. Other countries represented were: Barbados, Benin, Colombia, Czech Republic, Nigeria, Uganda, United Kingdom,

Last year’s 2nd position player Aiturgan Maksatbek representing Kyrgyzstan, a frequent player in the ashanti room of the playok platform, was the favourite to claim the title, with Altynai Shambetova also representing Kyrgyzstan who placed 3rd last year hot on her heals. Also among the contenders for the championship was Aderonke Lawal a championship player representing Nigeria who was an unknown quantity to online playing. Having only registered on the playok platform a few days before.

With an even number of players no one was on a bye and the first round got underway. In the first round there were no dramatic pairings, except the match between kzkz888 vs bme which resulted in a loss for bme from Uganda. The competition according to feedback from competitors was tough, and no one including the winner won seven straight games, everyone lost a game.

Whilst the championship was enthralling to watch at times it was very frustrating. In particular watching Sahoudatou Tegnami, one of two players representing Benin, whose games had one gasping in commiseration. A very good player and veteran of the Nomad Universe - Ethno Festival Oware Championship held in Saudi Arabia in 2019, her connection speeds sabotaged her efforts, plaguing it with disconnections, resulting in the loss of several games. There where three games which she should clearly have won. The first she drew and the latter two she lost, but her slow connection speed conspired to make her loose obvious wins, as she ran out of time. It was very frustrating to watch as this was repeated on three occasions. She was very dissatisfied with the whole experience and rightly so. All we can do is commiserate with her and put it down to experience.

At the end seven rounds Aderonke Lawal representing Nigeria became the Female Online Oware Champion with six wins. Losing only to last years third position player Altynai Shambetova of Kyrgyzstan, who placed third yet again. Altynai Shambetova herself lost to Sahoudatou Tegnami indicating Sahoudatou's pedigree and possible ranking is she had not encountered the connection disruptions. A surprise result was second place Lillian Namujjuzi representing Uganda who is a regular player in the ashanti room on the playok platform and in weekly tournaments. a noticeable absence were the players from Kazakhstan, from among them last years champion.

Congratulations to all the participants and in particular Aderonke Lawal representing Nigeria on becoming the current Female Online Oware Champion. We look forward to even more players from unrepresented countries participating in the next edition.

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