FIDE Master (1999); International Master (2004); Grandmaster (2006); Arab U14 Champion (2002); African U20 Champion (2004 & 2005); Arab U20 Champion (2005, 2006 and 2007); Arab champion (2005, 2006 and 2013); African Champion (2009, 2013 & 2015).
Bassem Amin is one of Egypt's and Africa's prodigies, becoming its youngest grandmaster in 2006. He has a creative attacking style of play, excels at championships and team play, and has been Africa's number one player for some years.
Master awards and norms
<FIDE Master award> Bassem Amin gained his FIDE title when he won the Arab U12 Championship in 1999 (but see below in <Youth> section).
<International Master title> He won his IM title by direct award at the age of 15 years 3 months and 29 days when he won the African Junior Championship on 7 January 2004. (1)
<Grandmaster norms> (2) He won his GM norms at the Arab Championship of 2005, the Arab U20 Championship of 2005 and at the African Junior Championship of 2005 (3). He gained his GM title when his rating reached 2500 on 29 August 2006, at the age of 17 years 11 months and 20 days.
<Youth> Bassem was the Arab U10, U12 and U14 (twice) champion (4), probably gaining his FM title for winning the Arab U12 Championship. (5) He played in the World U10 Championship in 1997 and 1998, scoring 7.5/11 in the latter and placing =7th, 1.5 points behind the winner Evgeny Romanov. (6) Contested the Arab U14 championship in 1998 when he was ten years old, placing 8th. (7) He also played in the World U12 Championship of 1999, albeit without troubling the leader board. (8) His results improved significantly the following year when the World U12 Championship 2000 was staged in Oropesa del Mar. There he scored 7.5/11 to place =4th, 1.5 points behind Deep Sengupta and a point behind the joint runners-up Laszlo Gonda and Ante Brkic, all of whom went on to become grandmasters. (9)
He played in the Arab U16 Championship in Beirut in 2000, and was the probable runner up to Hossein Mohamed. (10) He also participated in the World U14 Championship in Oropesa del Mar in October-November 2001, but on this occasion did not figure amongst the leaders. (11) In August 2002, Amin won the Arab U14 Championship. (12) He also played in the World U14 Championship played in November 2002 and staged in Heraklio in Greece, scoring 7/11, 2 points less than that of the winner Luka Lenic, placing =12th. The following year, in October-November 2003, Amin played in the World U16 Championship in Greece, his 7.5/11 being sufficient to place him =6th in the event.
Amin also played in the World U16 Championship in 2004 and on this occasion he was runner-up to Maxim Rodshtein. In July 2005, he competed in the World U18 Championship at Belfort, scoring 7.5/11 and placing =5th, a point behind the co-leaders Ildar Khairullin and Radoslaw Wojtaszek, and half a point behind the joint 3rd place getters Mark Bluvshtein and Evgeny Tomashevsky. In October 2006, he competed in the World U18 Championship in Georgia, scoring 7.5/11 and placing =3rd alongside Markus Ragger and Maxim Rodshtein, and behind the winner Arik Braun and runner-up Hrant Melkumyan.
<Junior> Amin played in Lusaka, Zambia in the African Junior (U20) Championship in 2001 (aged 13), but the final result is unclear. In June 2003, he took part in the 13th Arab Boys (U20) Championship and was runner up with 7.5/9 to the winner Abdul Hassan. In December 2003-January 2004, he played in and won the African U20 Boys Championship at the age of 15, also winning his IM title for this achievement. In November 2005 he won the Arab Junior (U20) Championship, staged in Jordan, for the first time, gaining his 2nd GM norm for his result. He reprised his victory at the African Junior Championship in December 2005 in Botswana when he was 17, thereby notching his 3rd GM norm. In July 2006 in Morocco he won the Arab Junior Championship for the second time with the perfect score of 7/7. The following year in August 2007, he won the Arab Junior Championship for the third time, this time with a score of 8.5/9. He was =3rd at the World Junior Championship (2008) behind Abhijeet Gupta and Parimarjan Negi.
<University> In July 2013, he scored 6/9 at the 27th World Summer Universiade staged in Russia, placing =10th, half a point behind the event's nine joint leaders (ultimately won be Wesley So).
<Cities> Amin played for the city of El-Giza at the Arab Cities championship in 2007, winning team gold with three team members, including himself, making perfect scores.
<National> He first participated in the Egyptian Championship in January 2003 at the age of 14, scoring 6/11 and placing =5th, two points behind the winner Essam El Gindy, and a point behind the joint 2nd place getters Ahmed Adly, Imed Abdelnabbi and Khaled Abdel Razik. He did not participate in another national championship until 2009 when he placed =2nd behind Ahmed Adly.
<Regional and Continental> Amin won the Arab Championship that was played in the UAE in September 2005, earning his first GM norm for his result. He repeated this result in 2006 (having by now earned his 3rd GM norm). He then played in the African Individual Championship of 2007, placing =2nd to Robert Gwaze, his placement qualifying him to play at the World Cup 2007 (see below). He won the African Individual Championships of 2009 (qualifying him for the World Cup 2009), 2013 (ditto the World Cup 2013) and 2015 (ditto the World Cup 2015). In December 2013, he won the Arab Championships with an almost clean sweep of the field, scoring 8.5/9 at the event that was staged in Abu Dhabi. In September 2014, Amin won the 9th Mediterranean Championship 2014 staged in Chania in Greece, scoring 7.5/9 and winning on tiebreak from Vasilios Kotronias.
<World> Amin qualified for the World Cups of 2007, 2009 and 2013 through his results at the African Continental Championships (see above), but bowed out in the first round of each event to Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu, Vladimir Malakhov and Eltaj Safarli respectively, the last mentioned in a bitterly fought pair of tiebreakers. He qualified for the World Cup (2015) by winning the African Continental Championship of 2015, on this occasion improving on his previous performances by defeating the higher rated Croatian GM Ivan Saric to progress through to the second round where he lost to Dmitry Jakovenko in the first rapid game tiebreaker to be eliminated from the tournament.
NB: In December 2014, Amin finished first in what was billed as the Zonal 4.2, however, he did not qualify for the World Cup 2015 from this event but from winning the African Championship 2015, while Arthur Ssegwanyi qualified for the World Cup via winning Zonal 4.2 in 2015. (13)
<2001-2006> 12 year old Amin played in the Golden Cleopatra Closed tournament in Cairo in May 2001, and although he scored only 4/10, his result included a win against IM Khaled Mahdy. In July 2002, he was runner-up by a point with 5.5/7 to IM Sayed Barakat Hassan at the Zakazit Open in Egypt. His 4.5/6 against FIDE rated players at the Mahalla Open in July 2002 added 36 points to his rating and began his rapid climb up the rating ladder. In March 2003, he scored 5.5/10 at the 10th 'Anibal' International Open, which although a couple of points from the lead in this powerful field, added over 25 points to the 14 year-old's rating. Amin's 15th birthday was in the middle of the category 9 1st Misr Closed tournament, in which he scored =2nd behind Ahmed Adly. In August-September 2006, He was either first or second at the 5th Alsaleh International Open Championship in late 2006. (14)
<2007-2014> Amin's best tournament result to date was winning the Abu Dhabi Masters in August 2007 on tiebreak ahead of Ashot Anastasian and ahead of many other talented grandmasters, including Karen Asrian, Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, Koneru Humpy, Levan Pantsulaia, Denis Khismatullin, Baadur Jobava and others. (15) Another strong result was at the powerful Cappelle la Grande (2010) where he scored 7/9 to finish =2nd, a half point behind Yaroslav Zherebukh. In August 2010, he won the 6th Assiut Open 2010 in Egypt, 1.5 points clear of 2nd placed Mokhlis Adnani. In February 2012, he was =1st with 7/9 (2nd on tiebreak behind David Arutinian) at the 11th Rochefort Open in France. In March 2013, he was =1st (3rd on tiebreak behind Pavel Eljanov and Wesley So respectively) with 8/10 at the Reykjavik Open (2013). Several months later in June, Amin was =1st (2nd on tiebreak behind Mohamad Al-Modiahki) at the 2nd Arab Elite Championships 2013 staged in the UAE.
<2014-2015> In June 2015, Amin was =2nd behind Mohammed Al-Sayed at the Arab Chess Tournament 2015 staged in the UAE. In July-August 2015, he won the Mahalla Open with 8/9.
Team events (16)
<Olympiads> Bassem Amin has represented Egypt in four Olympiads to date, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, playing on board 2 in 2008 and 2010, and top board in 2012 and 2014. His game tally for these four events was 42 games for 29.5 points (+24 =11 -7 (70.2%)).
<World Team Championships> He also represented Egypt for Africa at four World Team Championships, those having been held in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015. He played on board 2 in 2010 and 2011, board 4 in 2013 and board 1 in 2015. Game tally was 34 games for 12.5 points (+5 =15 -14 (36.8%)). The best team result in this period was 9th in 2010, finishing ahead of Turkey.
<All-Africa Games> Amin played in the 2007 continental team championship and playing for Egypt on board two won team and individual gold. He played 8 games for 7.5 points (+8 =1).
<Pan-Arab Games> He played board 2 for Egypt in the 2007 and 2011 Games, helping his team to gold on both occasions, and winning individual gold in 2011.
<Regional and Continental Leagues> Amin played for Egypt's Eastern Company Al-Sharkia club in 2006, 2010 and 2013 and for his country's El-Dakhlia team in 2009 in the Arab Club Championships of those years. He helped the Al-Sharkia club to team gold in 2006 and 2013, winning individual gold on both occasions (for board four and board one respectively. He helped the El-Dakhlia team to silver and won individual bronze (board two). In 2010, he team placed fourth but he won individual gold for board one.
He played board 4 for the UAE's Al-Ain Chess Club "B" club in the inaugural Asian Club Cup staged in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2008. In 2010, he played top board for the Egyptian team El-Dakhlia at the inaugural African Club Championship, leading his team to gold and winning individual silver. He also played top board for the French team CE de Bois Colombes in the European Club Cup (2014).
<National Leagues> Amin has been playing in the Egyptian League since 2001 and played in the Arab League in 2004, 2006 and 2010. He also played in the Icelandic League in 2008 and 2013, the French Top 12 League in 2014, the French Coupe de France - Finale in 2014 and in the Spanish CECLUB League in 2014.
Ratings and Rankings History
Bassem's initial FIDE rating was 2078 in January 1999 when he was ten years old. (17) He crossed into a rating of over 2600 in July 2011, and he has remained rated over 2600 since January 2012. He made it into the world's top 100 ranked players list in November 2013 and remained in the top 100 until March 2014. His peak rating was 2665 in January and February 2014, while his peak ranking was #79 in February 2014. (18)
References and Sources
Most of the data in this bio is extracted from the FIDE database, and is not footnoted, except where otherwise indicated. Sources are otherwise footnoted.
(1) https://www.fide.com/component/cont...; (2) Wikipedia article: Bassem Amin; (3) https://www.fide.com/component/cont...; (4) Mentioned in Wikipedia article: Bassem Amin, but not attributed, although FIDE records his likely win at the 2002 Arab U14 Championship at http://ratings.fide.com/tournament_.... Another win in this event would need to have been in an earlier year due to the age constraints.; (5) He gained his FIDE Master title in 1999 which is the likely date for his win as Arab U12 champion, given that the U10 championships for which he was eligible were held in 1997 and 1998, and that there is clear evidence of only one Arab U14 championship participation, in 2001.; (6) http://www.theweekinchess.com/html/...; (7) http://www.365chess.com/tournaments...; (8) http://www.365chess.com/tournaments... & http://www.theweekinchess.com/html/...; (9) http://www.theweekinchess.com/html/...; (10) http://www.365chess.com/tournaments... - two games are unaccounted for in this collection, and may have affected the leader board results; (11) http://www.365chess.com/tournaments... & http://www.theweekinchess.com/html/...; (12) http://ratings.fide.com/tournament_... - the record is incomplete and it is unclear whether Amin won the unreported game, although it is likely to have been a win against an unrated player.; (13) Wikipedia article: Chess World Cup 2015 and http://ratings.fide.com/tournament_...; (14) https://www.fide.com/index.php?opti...; (15) http://chess-results.com/tnr7534.as...; (16) http://www.olimpbase.org/players/o4...; (17) http://www.olimpbase.org/Elo/player...; (18) http://ratings.fide.com/top_files.p....
Wikipedia article: Bassem Amin