Update on Chess Kenya Constitution Meeting on 23rd December 2012

Update on Chess Kenya Constitution Meeting on 23rd December 2012

I  almost did not attend this meeting due to prior commitments that I had.  I managed to get there at about 3.40pm and found that the meeting had not started as everybody was waiting for Charles Nyaberi who is the Supremo for Kenya National Sports Council.  Poor Bwana Nyaberi has been dragged into this Chess Kenya fiasco for the past 18 months and I must admit that he has been great help to the poorly treated chess players under the previous regime.

The first thing that surprised me was the huge turnout.  We had the following in attendance - Charles Nyaberi, Ann Nganga (KNSC and National Olympic Committee of Kenya or NOCK), Mr Nderitu (KNSC), Victor Ngani (Chairman ICKC), Githinji Hinga (ICKC), Akello Atwoli, P Singe, Rehema Maria (all three part of the Constitution Committee), Brian Kidula, Kim Bhari, Martin Oyamo, Paul Oketch, Paul Aloyo, Gilbert Wandera, Raj Pendyala, Ricky Sang, Samuel Kimani, Stanley Luruti (ex Chairman of Chess Kenya) and former Lord of Chess Larry Kagambi (ex Secretary General of Chess Kenya).

The 3 hot points that were debated were;

1. Membership - the proposed structure was confusing as one could be a member either individually or via  a a club.  The committee agreed to go back and work on it.

2. Conflict of Interest - This point was hotly contested by Larry Kagambi.  We all know that Larry was in charge of a chess academy while he was Secretary General of Chess Kenya.  This point never went down well with chess players who felt he was using his position to influence many things in chess.  Larry had an interesting point in that one FIDE official told him that he (FIDE official )ran a chess business that generated a USD 500k even while he was an official.  Larry also pointed out that we should make sure that someone's rights (ie his) are not infringed as Bill of Rights in the Constitution of Kenya is the supreme document.  Very interesting!!

3. Non - Citizens.  The question of  non citizens representing Kenya was another hot potato.  Singe and Atwoli were very strongly in favour of any chess team being made up of only citizens of Kenya.  Nyaberi pointed out that other sports associations have the same rule as well.   Victor Ngani would have non of that and suggested at we must accommodate the non citizens that we have in our team.  The constitution has a proposal that the senior team will have only one non-citizen and for junior teams no more than 50%.  This I believe to be a fair system for the next two years.

Meeting ended at around 6.30 pm.

I am sorry that I forgot to take any photos.

Chess Finally Gets Recognition With Sportsmen Of Year Award (SOYA)

After waiting for like infinity Chess in Kenya finally got a boost when Sharanya Iyengar was nominated for a prize during the grand SOYA awards which is sponsored by Safaricom.  It is our great Kenyan Legend Paul Tergat who came up with this idea many years ago.  Paul Tergat was the 5 time winner of the World Cross Country Championship and two times Silver medalist at the Olympic Games

Over the years this event is dominated by the great Kenyan athletes but this year it was different when Sharanya name was nominated for her outstanding performance in chess.  Sharanya was part of the Kenya Ladies team to the recent Olympiad in Turkey.  The most outstanding point is that Sharanya is only 10 years old!!

With Olympic 3,000 m Steeplechase Gold Medalist
Ezekiel Kemboi at the SOYA awards
Posing with none other than David Rudisha
800 m Gold medalist at 2012 Olympics and
World Record Holder in 800m

One would have expected that all chess players to be delighted with this news but no - in every group of people one must find the guys and gals who love to moan and groan.  The true "Wet Blankets" of society.  Never happy.  Complaints about her citizenship was the first thing to crop up.  Yes she has an Indian passport but she lives with her parents in Kenya and is for all purposes a Kenyan Resident.  We have never had a 10 year old kid who has generated so much interest in chess.  We should appreciate that important fact.  Anyway here are some photos of this talented girl.

Sharanya posing with World Title Contender Boris Gelfand in
Turkey.  Photo by Mehul Gohil

Posing with Harold Wanyama of Uganda who won
the 2012 Kenya Open and Sharanya won the Ladies section

Here is the link to the TV report - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W1dbvsWlZQ

Bungoma Chess Club Hosts First Ever Chess Event!

Bungoma Chess Club hosted the first ever chess tournament in Bungoma Town on weekend of 24th and 25th November 2012.  The hardworking man behind this was Robert Nyongesa (see photo below left during the closing ceremony of the 54th Nairobi Chess Club Championship in Nairobi.

The arbiters for this event was Stephen Kisuze of Uganda and Issac Babu of Kenya.  The strong Ugandans were well represented at this event by Harold Wanyama and Bob Bibasa.

Harold Wanyama of Uganda (right) is the Winner of the 1st Bungoma Open.
Part of the action

Bob Bibasa of Uganda
This event had a huge controversy at the end when the all the cash prizes were not paid out.  This has happened in Kenya before and of course players are swift to condemn the organiser who put in so much work and who I must admit gave free entry to many of the players (who are now complaining about their prize fund!)

I will keep you updated on what has happened perhaps in the new year!.

A total of 50 players took part and the top 10 are shown below.

Chess Kenya Meeting 23rd December 2012

Chess Kenya Meeting 23rd December 2012

This is the email that I received last week (see below).  I am not sure if I will be attending as these meetings tend to be boring and tedious and most likely to start an hour late.

I have briefly reviewed the constitution and my brief comments are as follows;

1. Chess Kenya will have individuals as members but who cannot vote.  Makes no sense at all. After all a national body should have clubs as its members and not individuals.

2. Proposed membership fee for clubs is KShs 8,000 which is high from the KShs 5,000.

3. Someone has slipped in a clause about non Kenyans in any Junior National team.  The Junior National team to any event cannot have more than 50% non Kenyans.  I guess this is a good clause.

For seniors the clause is as follows;

i.        The national team shall be a reserve of Kenya citizens only; a slot may be made available to non-Kenyan citizen if he/she:
·         Has lived in the country for a minimum of three (3) years
·         Has a permit from the mother federation to play for another federation
·         Someone officially registered as a resident
·         There shall be a maximum of one resident in the team

I will keep you updated on the progress.
Chess Kenya Stakeholders Meeting
Sunday 23rd December 2012, Nyayo Stadium, KNSC Boardroom from 1430Hrs

Dear Chess Friends,

You are cordially invited to the all-inclusive Chess Kenya Stakeholders meeting set for December 23rd, 2012 at the KNSC Boardroom at Nyayo Stadium from 1430Hrs to 1700Hrs.

1. Feedback on the CK Draft Constitution - follow the link to see draft
2. Update on Activities of the ICKC
3. A.O.B

Chess Kenya would like to thank the members of Constitution Review Committee for their tireless effort that has resulted in creating the Draft Constitution.

For logistics purpose, kindly let us know if you will be able to attend and also include any thoughts you may have on the draft constitution or any other chess matters.

Please respond to Secretary@chesskenya.or.ke

Further to this, the following meetings shall take place: 
1) Special General Meeting (SGM) on 20th January 2013 to address Constitution and Elections.
2) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 17th February 2013 (Elections AGM)

Please note that the dates for all meetings will not change. We urge you to sacrifice time for the sake of the prosperity of the game. Your attendance and input is highly appreciated.

My sincere apologies for the short notice.

Kind Regards,

Githinji Hinga
ICKC Secretary
Chess Kenya

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