Ghana’s Maud Benson, a 21-year-old Mechanical Engineering student of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) emerged victorious in the women’s section of the Zone 4.2 West Africa Individual Chess Championship.
After excelling in many local tournaments, she earned a spot on the National Chess Team (The Golden Knights) at age 16 and went on to represent Ghana at multiple international events including two World Chess Olympiads.
She also joined the KNUST Chess Club upon joining the tertiary institution and is currently the President.
Benson went to Dimbokro, Cote D’ Ivoire as part of a two-man Ghanaian delegation sponsored by the Ghana Chess Association to take part in the Zonal event.
The one-week tournament which ended on April 1, saw the participation of 42 top chess players from nine countries namely Ghana, Nigeria, Cape Verde, Niger, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Togo with 12 of them competing in the women’s category.
The Tema-based Knightmare Chess Club member went into the tournament as the sixth-seeded player with Cape Verde’s Women Candidate Master Celia Rodriguez Guevara tipped as the favorite to win the event, however, Benson shockingly put up an impressive performance as she went unbeaten in the tournament to be crowned the champion with one round to spare.
She emerged the champion with 7.5 points after nine rounds of exciting chess having recorded six wins and three draws to make history as the first Ghanaian lady to ever win the Zone 4.2 Individual Chess Championship.
For Maud, winning the Zonal Championship was a dream come true, as well as proof of how much one can achieve with passion, perseverance, and hard work. She hopes that her story will be an inspiration to young girls everywhere to be relentless in the pursuit of their dreams and aspirations no matter how big they might seem.
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