Diwali week

Diwali week

This week was Diwali so of course we were busy with visiting and meeting friends.

On the chess front nothing much to report even though I find that at least 6 hours are spent doing chess things. Reviewed the Chess Club accounts to make sure that it was ready to go to the auditors. Reviewed the Chairman's report to ensure that I have captured all the relevant stories. Letter done to Kenyatta University inviting them for a chess tournament we are organising next week, phone calls from my mates Bob and Paul in Kisumu who want to host the Kisumu Open. I have told them that they need to get in touch with the Kisumu Chess Branch (story covered earlier) and organise it together. My advice - get an event set up. Players from Nairobi will travel to Kisumu for the event.

Then meeting again on Saturday to discuss chess plans for next week. We want to bring another Chess Grandmaster to Kenya next year.
Busy week for chess in Kenya

Busy week for chess in Kenya

This has been a busy week for chess in Kenya.

There is a chess tournament at Kenyatta University which is an open event but only for University students. I was supposed to go but felt lazy to drive there for the event.

In Kisumu - the Kisumu Chess Branch has been formed with the following officials

Warren Pollock( asst secretary),
Marygoretty Auma(treasurer),
Isaac Babu(chairman),
Richard Onywera(vice chairman) ,
Philip Ouma (secretary)

We hope that there will chess activity in Kenya's third largest city. My Luo friends like to say that we are going back to UK, which really means that they are going back to United Kisumu!
Chess Crusader

Chess Crusader

I feel good. I feel like I am a Chess Crusader.

I had a parent who over the past few months been asking me to find a chess coach for her son and a few of his friends. I just could not find somebody until last week. I have managed to link her up with a chess player who is going to start teaching in November.

The parent lived in Embakasi area of Nairobi and thought that it would not be easy to find someone but hey that is the good thing about Facebook and Twitter.

Talking about Embakasi - This is the area that has one of our old airports. The new airport Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is built fairly close to the Embakasi one. Embakasi Airport brings some fond memories of the 1970s. At this airport there was a waving base! So after you said bye to your friend you went upstairs and waited at the waving base to say a final bye to your friends and loved one. That was not all! There was a restaurant next to the waving base where we would then go for a drink with my parents while we waited for the flight to take off. You are asking yourself how? Well this restaurant had a huge window facing the runaway where you could see the flight take off! Then you knew that your friends had left......

I have provided a link for some old photos

2011 Mombasa Open is on!!

2011 Mombasa Open is on!!

The 2011 Mombasa Open is all scheduled to start on 8th October 2011 at the Wildwater Resorts which is on the North Coast.

Did I hear you ask me what time the event is starting? Well nobody knows!! I am serious - this is the only chess event in the world that the start time has not yet been stated.

Prize fund - no idea once again. I am serious there is no information on the prize fund as well. I guess again this must be the only chess event in the world where the prize fund has not yet been announced.

I hear you ask - Is anybody going for this event? Of course. I expect at least 40 players will turn up for the event. I know at three Ugandans are on their way. I know one Kenyan bank has also sponsored a team to go for the event.

Why do they do it ie go for an event when details are unknown. Well I guess it is because having a chess event in Mombasa is almost as rare as finding a pair of rhinos mating under a tree!!

I have just called my friend who is now boarding the bus and will leave shortly. He has promised to keep me updated and you can be sure that I will up you guys and gals as well posted.

I am not going for the event as I am traveling with the family next week and will keep you guys updated on new developments in Kenyan chess. There is a lot going on but more on that later............

Chess in Schools

There has been a lot about Chess in Schools in the recent past.

See http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7576 where there is a story about Kasparov Chess Foundation and Your Next Move.

Today was interesting. I went to Brookhouse to take my daughter to take her music exam and guess what. In front of the exam hall was a big out door chess set with a bunch of kids playing!!

See the attached photo. The quality is not very good. Well what do you expect from a cheap Blackberry.

Well I was glad that at least this school had put chess for kids to play at any time.

The key thing about this set was that it was one that was made in Kenya and not an imported set which is great. We do not need imported sets when our great "Jua Kali" guys can do it. The other school that has an outdoor set is Peponi School in Nairobi.

I forgot to find out what their chess club. Perhaps I will send them an email later and find out more information.
Chess at the beach with cold Tuskers

Chess at the beach with cold Tuskers

Kenyan chess players are all gearing up for a chessfest this month.

Mombasa Chess Club have organised the Mombasa Open which is scheduled for 8th and 9th October 2011 and it will be held at the famous - Wild Waters Resort in Mombasa. See http://www.wildwaterskenya.com/.

Making this announcement  was Mombasa Chess Club Secretary Jonah.  The event is being sponsored by Mr. Mwenda Thuranira, C.E O Myspace  Properties. http://www.myspacepropertieskenya.com.

Mombasa Chess Club have the distinction of being the first chess club in Kenya to have a website www.mombasachessclub.  The sad thing they seem to be working to be the first club to have its website closed down as well.  This was the message that I got when I tried to find their website (which was working last week)

Notice: This domain name expired on 09/28/11 and is pending renewal or deletion

I do hope the officials wake up and sort this looming problem..........  Many of you will want to know who won the event in 2010; Well I have done some homework for you and give you a report by Chess Stalwart - Githinji Hinga from the Kenya Chess Forum

Uganda's Harold Wanyama held his nerve to retain his title in the Chess tournament which ended on Monday.

Facing stiff opposition from top Kenyan players and fellow Ugandans, Wanyama, who is also the defending East African champion finished the tourney tied with Kenya's Nathan Ateka tied on 6 points out of a possible 7. The Ugandan however won on Bucholtz tie-break system where the cumulative opponents' points count. The three day event was jointly hosted by Mombasa Beach Hotel and the picturesque Wild Waters
Park with Disneyland like features.

Following closely on third place was another Ugandan Arhur Ssengwanyi on 5.5 points. The other players finishing in top ten were Matthew Kanegeni, David Okeyo, Elijah Ejamong' (UG), Githinji Hinga, Ben Nguku, Givans Amunga and Collins Young.
The ladies' prize was scooped by yet another newcomer, media studies student Margaret Muriithi playing in her first  seniors tournament ever.

The event was generously sponsored by Myspace Property developers and individual wellwishers led by Momasa Chess Club treasurer Dr. Phillip Mwashe.

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