17 year old Fy and 15 year old Haridify from Madagascar

Today we meet with 17 year old FM Fy Antenaina Rakotomahoro and 15 year old CM Harifidy Milento Ralison from Madagascar. Fy is Madagascar’s board 1 player and is currently sitting at a rating of 2439. Haridify with a rating of 2058 is playing on board 4.


We all know Madagascar of course from the movies created by Dreamworks studio’s. But in real life it is the fourth largest island in the world. On a side note – Greenland is the world’s largest island. Australia is not listed as an island, because it is defined as a continent.


Madagascar is a huge island nation off the southeast coast of Africa. It’s home to thousands of animal species, such as lemurs, which are not found anywhere else.

Fy is top ranked U18 player for the entire continent of Africa and Haridify is currently ranked the 4th in the continent of Africa for the U16 players and 1st in Madagascar (U16).

Chesslife: What age did you start to learn chess?
Fy: I started when I was 7 and was taught by my father
Haridify: I started when I was 5 years old at school

Candidate Master Haridify Milento Ralison
Candidate Master Haridify Milento Ralison

Chesslife: How much chess do you study per week?
Fy: I study every day at least half an hour and more during the school holidays. On of my classic books to study with is Dvoretsky’s Endgame manual {note to readers; this book is really only suitable for players with a rating >2000}.

Another great Endgame book that has just come out is ‘Most Instructive endgames of 2012-2015 by Naiditsch and Balogh. Naiditsch is currently playing on board 3 for Azerbaijan in the Olympiad.

Haridify: When I am preparing for a tournament I study about half an hour every day and I practise regurlarly on playchess.com


Chesslife: What is your favourite Chess book?
Fy: When I started learning chess my favourite book was ‘How to beat your dad at chess’. by Murray Chandler. This was a very useful tool during this time. Currently I really like ‘Can you be a positional chess genius’ by Angus Dunnington {published by Everymanchess}
Haridify: I mainly use online tools, like Fritz and Chessbase to research. I am currently studying openings.



Chesslife: When did you obtain your title?
Fy: I gained my FM title at the Olympiad in Tromso in 2014. I have since gained 2 IM norms and hope to obtain my final IM norm at this Olympiad.
Haridify: I got my CM title just a couple of months ago at the Zonal in Mauritius. I hope to get my FM title at this Olympiad.

Click on the chess board below to find a review of Haridify’s most memorable game against Lova Rafenohery

board 1

Chesslife: Is this your first Olympiad and what was your first International Tournament?
Fy: This is my second Olympiad, Tromso in Norway in 2014 was my first Olympiad. My first International Tournament was in 2008 at the Oceania.
Haridify: My first International tournament was at the World Youth in 2011 held in Brazil.

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Chesslife: What is your favourite player?
Fy: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. I have moved to France 3 years ago for study and chess and we now play at the same club.
Haridify: Fabiona Caruana. I like his style of play and he is really cool!


GM Fabiano Caruana
GM Fabiano Caruana

Chesslife: What is the junior chess league like in Madagascar?
Fy and Haridify: There are not many juniors playing in Madagascar, certainly not at the top level.

Chesslife: What does chess mean to you?
Fy: Chess is more than a hobby, it’s my life. I spent a lot of time with chess. Hopefully I can become a professional player one day.
Haridify: It has allowed me to visit many countries, speak other languages and make friends around the world.

FIDE Master Fy Antenaine Rakotomaharo
FIDE Master Fy Antenaine Rakotomaharo

Chesslife: How do you describe your style of play?
Fy: I like playing tactical, but I enjoy playing positional as well.
Haridify: I like attacking and tactical play. For example with white I play the scottish.

Madagascar team in action for round 4
Madagascar team in action for round 4

Chesslife: What is your most memorable game?
Fy: That is easy! In 2015 in Canada when I won against Eric Hansen.

Click on the board below to see an analysis of Fy’s most memorable game

board 1
Chesslife: What are your goals?
Fy: I would like to get my third IM norm and then work towards a GM norm. I would also like to play in more international tournaments.
Haridify: I would like to win the African Championships, and become a GM of course!

Click on the board below for a review of Haridify’s game against Richard Forster during the Olympiad

board 1

Chesslife: What advice would you give to Australian Junior Chess players?
Fy: Never Give Up!
Haridify: Continue to play chess as it will let you see the world!

Click on the board below for an analysis of Fy’s game against Sebastian Bogner from Switserland during the Olympiad

board 1

Fy will be travelling to the World Youth Championships in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia after the Olympiad and may very well be playing against our very own Australian Patrick Gong!



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