The December Rating Lists were published yesterday and the results of both the 2016 Tanzania Open and 2016 Swaziland Open were submitted in time to be included within the December rating lists.

Both Swaziland and Tanzania added to their number of rated players and both countries have now entered the top 25 in Africa when measured by number of rated players in the country. Given that neither country had a single rated player 2 years ago this is an impressive achievement for both.

Other than these two events, it was a fairly quiet month across the rest of the continent and the lack of activity is reflected in the fact that the individual rating tables are relatively unchanged.

Since January 2016, it is encouraging to note that the number of active FIDE rated players has grown be a total of 632 off a base of just under 3000. This represents year on year growth of 21%.

Whilst the percentage growth is encouraging, the fact that less than 4000 African players currently have FIDE ratings remains a source of grave concern as this still represents only 1% of the global population of chess players with an active rating.

The latest rankings based on the December 2016 list is available as usual at