Kenyan Girl Makes Chess History

This surely is a true first for Kenya.

A Kenyan chess player has published a book.  The most amazing thing is that Gilliane Otieno is only 9 years old and has put her name in the history books of Kenyan chess.

Gilliance Otieno has represented Kenya a number of times in international events.  Her dad is Gilbert Wandera who is a journalist.

I am not sure how many of you will notice that something is wrong with the cover.   The board is set up incorrectly.  Of course it took our own Chess Hero - Saif Kanani to spot it.  Those who do not know who Saif Kanani is well he remains  the only Kenyans to win a medal at the Chess Olympiad.  He won a Silver medal at the 1982 Olympiad in Malta.

Saif Kanani (in blue jacket) in action at an Olympiad event. Photos thanks to Aslam Adam (on Saif's right) of UK

Unhappy Pawns On The Kenyan Chess Board!

There is never a dull moment in Kenyan Chess.

This was the double-check that we found recently;

The letter was signed by about 20 players.

This letter is just absurd.  The whole thing has been instigated by former Chess Kenya officials led by former officials Stanley Luruti, Steve Ouma and Larry Kagambi.  You will recall that the over the past few years when these officials were in office there was very little chess activity.  Of course the overseas trips were plenty for the junior players as these were funded by the parents.

I do not believe that the Ministry will act of this letter.  I will keep you posted.

Here is the list of the people who signed this letter.

Nationalistic Feelings Running High In Kenyan Chess

You will recall my various posts on the question of non-citizen players who play for Kenya in various international events.

Let me set my comments first - I do mind non-citizen children representing Kenya as long as they qualify in a fair selection process.  After all children do not choose the country the country they live in.  If Kenyan children cannot defeat their non-citizen counterparts then tough luck.  Go back and put in the effect.

This view is not shared by many as they feel that non-citizens should just not be allowed into the National Team.  Their point is - would India or say China allow a non citizen to represent their country.  The answer is no and hence why should Kenya allow it.  They also have a point about this.

There has been a major struggle in Kenyan Chess as many feel that Kenyan children are given a raw deal. The Ministry of Sports has barged into the quarrel and issued a firm and stern warning.  The Kenya Team must only be represented by Kenyan Citizens. Full stop.

Non citizens may take part in international events but not as the National Team.

Here is the letter signed by Mr Gordon Oluoch who is the Commissioner of Sports.

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