A summary of the year 2015 for Kenyan Chess

The year 2015 will go down as a key milestone in Kenyan chess.  This was the year that Kenyan chess blossomed with a huge number of events both locally and internationally.  The number of FIDE rated has also increased dramatically as Chess Kenya has gone out of its way to promote rated events.

6th Rwabushenyi Memorial Chess Tournament

The 6th edition of the Rwabushenyi Open came to an end on 13th  December 2015 with IM Arthur Ssegwanyi taking top spot with 7.5/8, followed by Harold Wanyama with 6.5/8.  IM Arthur Ssegwanyi went home with Uganda Shillings 1,000,000 (KES 31,000 or USD 310).

Mikhail Tal's best Games 2 - by Tibor Károlyi

I had the good fortune last week of browsing through Tibor Károlyi’s booked titled “Mikhail Tal’s Best Games 2” published by Quality Chess of the UK which retails for USD 29.95.

2015 African Youth Chess Championship - further update

You will recall my earlier story about Kenya winning two bronze medals at the just concluded 2015 African Youth Chess Championship held in Lusaka, Zambia.  This event was covered by two stories on this blog;

Bondo University hosts successful 2015 KUSA Games

This past week saw a lot of sporting activity at Bondo University which is situated in Bondo town in Western Kenya.  The annual Kenya Universities Sports Association festival came to an end this weekend when hundreds of participants took part in 15 different disciplines that included football, hockey and fortunately chess.

A story by CM Ben Magana - Part 2

The story according to CM Ben Magana

"Immediately after Bungoma, there was Tanzania Open across the border. This was a six-day affair (4 days playing + 2 days traveling), not feasible for a family man like me, especially after being in Bungoma the week before. So my chess addiction made me find my way to Lumumba Social Hall, deep in the bowels of Eastlands. The surrounding area used to be known as "Trench-Town", an area where muggings were common place in the past. Key word: PAST. The venue is run-down, but is a valuable resource for the mostly lower class & lower-middle class folk that live around there. I was very happy to be here, as out of diversity is often bred brilliance.

Ripples from Magnus Carlsen felt in the small town of Voi, Kenya

You will all recall that NGO’s have been under considerable pressure from the Kenya Government.  The NGO Coordinating Board has been carry out an audit of all NGO’s registered in Kenya with a view of cleaning up the sector.  There have been allegations of fraud, money laundering, and terrorism allegations against a number of NGO’s.

A recap of the 2015 Rwanda Chess Championship

Kenyan chess suddenly seems so busy.

You will recall that Purity Maina was an arbiter during the recently concluded 25th World Seniors Championship in Acqui Terme, Italy.  This time we had Duke Micheka of Kenya who was an arbiter at the just concluded Rwanda National Chess Championship 2015 held in Kigali. 

Ken Omolo & Riya Shah are the 2015 Kenya National Champions

It is now officially over.  The 2015 Kenya National Chess Championship came to an exciting finish when Ken Omolo cruised to 21 points (Bilbao system over 8 rounds) to collect the winner’s trophy and KES 20,000 (USD 200) for his amazing effort.

Kenya bags 2 bronze medals in the 2015 African Youth Chess Championship

The biggest news coming from the 2015 African Youth Chess Championship which ended today in Lusaka, Zambia is that Kenya has bagged 2 bronze medals.  Sanjana Deshpande won her bronze medal in the Ladies U18 and Aravind Vengarai in the Boys U14.

2015 Kenya National Chess Championship gets off to a fine start

The 2015 Kenya National Championship got off to a fine start yesterday morning at the Strathmore University, Madaraka Campus.  A total of 70 players in the Open section and 14 ladies in the Ladies section are taking part.

A story by CM Ben Magana - Part 1

We have for the first time published article done by CM Ben Magana who is one of Kenya's most illustrious chess sons.  His story is done in 2 parts. 

Part 1 covers the 2015 Bungoma Chess Open where Ben was the winner in the Open section.  The Bungoma Open has been covered extensively in this blog and has 3 separate stories.  These include;

2015 Kenya National Chess Championship due this weekend.

Strathmore University is getting ready to host the 2015 Kenya National Championship during the  weekend of 11th to 13th December 2015.  This 8 round event will be held at their Madaraka Campus and has attracted over 60 entries to date.

2015 African Youth Chess Championship, Lusaka, Zambia

A 35 strong Kenyan squad made up of players, parents and supporters have landed in Lusaka for the 2015 African Youth Chess Championship that runs from 6th to 13th December 2015.  The team left in 3 batches  and looking forward to doing battle with some of Africa’s best players.

A final recap on the 2015 Bungoma Open Chess Tournament

This is my 3rd and final story on the 2015 Bungoma Open Chess Tournament.

You might wonder why 3 reports for one event.  Well it is very simple.  This event is one of the 4 premier events in Kenya which excludes Nairobi events.  The other events are the Kisumu Open, Mombasa Open and the Kiambu Open.

25th FIDE Senior Chess Championship

The curtains came down on the 25th FIDE Senior Chess Championship on 22nd November 2015.  The event was held in the historic Italian city of Acqui Terme in Northern Italy.

IM Elijah Emojong wins the 2015 Tanzania Open

“Veni, vidi, vici” translated from Latin means “I came, I saw, I conquered” which was attributed to Julius Caesar after he swiftly crushed Pharnaces II of Pontus at the Battle of Zela around 46 BC.

Ben Magana wins 2015 Eastland’s Open

This weekend of 28th & 29th November 2015 saw more action for chess players when the annual Eastlands Open took place at the Ofafa Jericho, Community Hall in Eastleigh, Nairobi.

2015 Tanzania Open is here!

The 2015 edition of the Tanzania Open got off to great start today morning when a total of 42 players converged at the Peacock Hotel in Dar-es-Salaam Tanzania.

IM Elijah Emojong wins 2015 Bungoma Open Chess Tournament

The Bungoma Open came to a magnificent climax today evening when IM Elijah Emojong of Uganda won the Prestige section with a perfect score of 6/6 and with Ben Magana winning the Open section with 5/6.

For Friends & colleagues – Profession: Chess Coach by Mark Dvoretsky

I have never owned any book written by Mark Dvoretsky who is a Russian chess trainer and author.  

He has written a number of books that includes: Secrets of Chess Training, Secrets of Chess Tactics amongst others.  I was fortunate enough to lay my hands on one of his latest books titled – For Friends & Colleagues Volume I –Profession Chess Coach.

Kenyan Arbiter at the 25th FIDE World Senior Chess Championship

I always feel great pride when I see Kenya's name on the world chess stage.

2015 Bungoma Open Chess Tournament - Excitement builds up

All roads lead to Bungoma this weekend when the 3rd edition of the “Bungoma Open” will be held.

With a cash prize fund of over KES 100,000 the event is sponsored by Bungoma County Governor Kenneth Lusaka, Oriolec Africa Limited, Club G II and Newsroom.

Gary Kasparov was supposed to come to Nairobi in 1985!

I am sure many of you would have seen loads of congratulatory messages to Gary Kasparov on the 30th anniversary of him becoming the 13th World Champion on 9th November 1985. 

House of Martin Chess Set

You will recall my passion for different types of chess sets and today I bring you another one.  This is made by House of Martin and manufactured in England.  This one was sent to me by my friend Aslam of the UK.

Recap of the 2015 Mombasa Open

The much anticipated 2015 Mombasa Open was held over the long weekend of 17th to 19th October 2015 at the Technical University of Mombasa. 

Kenyan chess player makes his mark at the World Chess Championship

We normally hear about Kenyan chess players taking part in the Olympiad, World Youth Championship, Africa event etc.  We have never had a player taking part in a World Chess Championship event. 

Chess sets from Turkey

This is my 3rd and final post on Turkey.  In the first article I mentioned about the plastic chess sets and in the second article it was on Istanbul Chess Club.

White Bishop goes missing in Istanbul

You might wonder what on earth happened.  Did one of the many bishops in Istanbul get kidnapped by ISIS?  Fortunately the story is not so sinister and is somehow related to our game of chess.

Istanbul Chess Club

The one thing that chess players do whenever they travel is to visit the local chess club. I thought life would be so easy with www.google.com but realised that there were no clubs coming up on my search pages.  

Millionaire Chess 2015 - A recap of a fantastic weekend

You will recall that last month I had put up a story about our Ugandan brother Arthur Ssewanyi being at the centre of the Chess Universe when he attended the 2015 World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan.   I should have been a bit more specific and said “at the centre of the Universe on the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain”.

3rd October 2015 - A busy Saturday for Kenyan chess

Many chess players in Kenya still think that it is sacrilege to have 2 chess tournaments in one city or town.   There have been times in the past when 2 events have clashed and there is an uproar on social media on such so called "evils".

Kenneth Omolo triumphs in Daystar Open

Kenneth Omolo bagged the top prize at the 2015 Daystar Open which came to a climax last Sunday when he finished with 5/6 points to take home the winner’s trophy plus KES 18,000.  His loot was lower than the top KES 30,000 as he had to share the cash prize with Nsubuga Haruna, Ben Magana and Githinji Hinga.

4th Daystar Unviersity Open - Day 1 speed report

I guess this report is a bit late but then I can you can excuse me as I had to battle 2 and a half hours to come back home on Mombasa Road with all the traffic and trucks.

1998 Chess Olympiad Flashback!

We are visiting Turkey later in the year and I thought that it would be a good idea to find out where the offices of the Turkish Chess Federation offices are.  I was expecting to find incumbent Ali Nihat Yazıcı as the President of the Federation.  Imagine my pleasant surprise to find that they now have a lady President of the Turkish Chess Federation!  She is non other than Ms Gülkiz Tulay who was appointed as President in 2012.  Those who want to read about her can do so here.

Hail King Arthur of Uganda!

You are at the centre of the Chess Universe with the top 128 chess players in the city of Baku, Azerbaijan.  The only persons missing are current World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen and former World Champion GM Viswanathan Anand.

Baku - 2016 Olympiad! Oh how we all want to be there.

Mention the city of Baku (“City of Winds”) to any chess player and the first thing that will spring to their mind is our greatest hero – Garry Kasparov (Garik Kimovich Weinstein) who was born in Baku, Azerbaijan on 13th April 1963.

A story of Persia in Kenya

She comes from a land that was once called Persia that many history books say gave us our much beloved game of chess.  The great thing is that she now lives in Nairobi and  I guess this gives her the right to be on Kenya Chess Masala!

2015 Daystar University Chess Open

The gods of Ukambani must surely not love me!  Reason?  Well listen to the story below.

The 4th edition of this fantastic event organised by Daystar University at their Athi River Campus is set for the weekend of 26th & 27th September 2015.  This is one of Kenya’s premier chess events and will attract a huge crowd which will include our Ugandan brothers and sisters.

Time Travel?

I was lazing about and decided to watch an episode of "Weird or What" on Zuku TV.  The episode was an interesting one titled "Time travel" and this is the introduction;

Ben Magana is crowned 57th Nairobi Chess Club Champion

I have no idea what he eats or what he reads – but Ben Magana affectionately known as “Big Ben” due to his towering presence once again demolished a strong field of 23 players in the Prestige
section of the 57th Nairobi Chess Club Championship to scoop the top prize of KES 30,000.  To put things in perspective Ben Magana remains the only Kenyan to have defeated a Grandmaster which happened when he defeated GM Ahmed Adly of Egypt in 2007.  He is also 3 times Kenya Champion which is just some of his many accolades that he has.

57th Nairobi Chess Club Championship – A Fast Report

From the book “Alexander the Great” by Dennis Wepman.

“Finally the Persians set up his (Darius) camp at Guagamela (now Tell Gome), cleared the ground for his chariots and prepared for what he knew would be a tough fight.

Chess Super Weekend!

What do you call +30,000 Elo points, 5 Ugandans, 1 American, 1 Dutchman, +40 Kenyan players, bit of church music, bit of live football coverage? Well it is the Super Weekend of 15th & 16th August 2015 of the ongoing Kenya National Chess League at the Stima Club, Ruaraka, Nairobi.

Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi - The Indomitable Lion

This week my favorite chess photographer David Llada (http://www.davidllada.com/) had a fantastic photo of an old hero of mine – The Indomitable Lion Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi.

57th Nairobi Chess Club Championship

One of Kenya's most anticipated event this year is the 57th Nairobi Chess Club Championship which is set for the weekend of 22nd & 23rd August 2015 at the famous Braeburn School, Gitanga Road, Nairobi.

The Art Of Planning In Chess - Move By Move

I decided to order "The Art of Planning in Chess - Move by Move" by Neil McDonald the other day and decided that I will share my thoughts with you.

Pocket Chess Set From Germany

One of the sets that I have used many times when I was a kid was given to me as a present when I was around 12 years old well that is almost 40 years ago.

We had a family friend who had travelled to Germany for work and he knew that I was crazy about chess and he bought this for me.  I still treasure it like the first time I laid my eyes on it.  Here are some of the photos to show you.

The pieces are magnetic & felted.  I love the details on the pawns who look like Roman Centurions! 

Fireball Hits Kenyan Chess

The Kenya National Speed Chess Tournament at the Nairobi Gymkhana got off to a fiery start on Saturday morning with a total of 110 players competing in the two categories – Open and Junior Section.

Nigel Short Due To Visit Nairobi Shortly!

All chess players in Kenya are now eagerly waiting for GM Nigel Short to come over to Kenya next weekend.  Information is scanty as usual and the only information that we have is the following poster.

Kisumu Town Pulls Off Major Chess Event

The lake side town of Kisumu on the weekend of  27th & 28th June 2015 hosted a fantastic and well attended event at the Scottish Tartan Hotel.

Tournament Chessmen By Lowe

We are all familiar with chessmen made by Spears when we were kids and the other usual ones that you find in chess tournaments all over the world.

In one of my earlier I have a blog story about the Rajah Skah chess set which is also made of plastic.

When my friend left Kenya to go and settle in cold Canada he gave me a chess set which I never paid much attention to and it was kept in the cupboard for many years.  The other day I opened it and decided that hey - this is a cool looking set.  It is made by Lowe and seems to be very rare and you can only find them on www.ebay.com.

I like the feel and the design of the chessmen and use it once in  a while.

Here are some of the photos.

Pieces have felt and are weighted

Interesting Chess Books By GM Judit Polgar & GM Rios

Once in a while my chess addicted friend Mehul asks me to order books for him which I gladly do as I get a chance to see some nice chess books before I pass them over to him.

This time there were two interesting books for "Wood Pushers" like me.   The first one was "How I beat Bobby Fischer's record" by Judith Polgar and the other was "Chess Structures A Grandmaster Guide" by Chilean GM Maricio Flores Rios.

A bit more about GM Rios - he combines his career as a chess player and trainer and hold on for this - he is doing his PhD studies in Mathematics at the University of Minesota.  How the heck guys do this.  Become a GM and yet have another interesting life.  I can only dream about things like this.

I guess life as a veteran "Wood Pusher" is really no fun!

Here are some photos from the two books.

I never got chance to review the Judit Polgar book due to time constraints.  However the book is hardcover, paper quality is fantastic and the photos great.  Judith has some interesting anecdotes to go with the games.

2015-2016 Kenya National League Starts!

The highly anticipated 2015-16 Kenya National Chess League got off to a thunderous start last week where a total of 18 teams confirmed participation.

2014-15 Kenya National League Winners KCB Lions were one of the first teams to register, together with Equity Bank,  Eastlands Chess Club, Deadly Bishops, University of Nairobi, Tritonite Stars, Kenyatta University, Checkmates Chess Club

Making their debut will be Kenya Alliance Insurance Company, Thika University and Kisii County Chess Club.  Nairobi Chess Club return to the event after sitting out last year’s edition due to the very poorly run 2013-14 edition where delays, postponements were the order of the day.  To add insult to injury Nairobi Chess Club who came out 3rd in a bitterly fought contest were awarded a trophy that was clearly used, broken and without any plaque.

During last year’s edition KCB signed on Harold Wanyama from Uganda as their board 1 to support their team which also included reigning Kenya National Champion Ben Magana.  This year KCB went further to sign on Ivy Amoko of Uganda as their top lady player.

The bidding war had started and Equity startled the chess fraternity when they announced their line up to include 3 very strong Ugandan players for their top 3 boards;

The Beautiful Tania Sachdev Leads Me ................................

A few days ago while wasting time on Facebook instead of study chess I came across a post from the charming Tania Sachdev (not yet my friend on Facebook) that one of her photos were chosen as the top ten by great photographer David Ilada.

If you do not know about David I can understand.  If you play chess and do not know about Tania then I feel sad for you.  She is the gorgeous Indian chess player and here are some of her photos.

Mehul Gohil posing with Tania at the 2012 Olympiad (Photo credit Mehul Gohil)

Corporate Kenya And Chess

I at times wish I was born in another country.

Oh Kenya, how I love you,
Why is chess not loved here
Why, Why Why

The Kenyan Corporate World kind of ignores chess for some strange reason.  In the 1990's Standard Bank, Barclays Bank and many others sponsored chess but these days chess is ignored.  I think that the last big corporate sponsor was when Safaricom sponsored the famous "Kenya Simba's v Wageningen Chess Club" which was done via the internet.  The sponsorship was to the tune of a staggering, mind boggling KES 300,000.  For those that want to read more on the story here is the link.


I need to drag you back to what I wanted to say.

I attended the 2015 Rhino Charge which was held over the Madaraka Day weekend around Kalepo which is about 130 km north of Isiolo.

There was one banner that caught my attention at the Copy Cat Control and this is what I am talking about.

Banner at the 2015 Rhino Charge

The Grandmaster Battle Manual - Vassilos Kotronias

Once in a while my friend Mehul will request me to order some chess books for him from Amazon.  I usually browse through the books before he collects them from me.  The book "The Grandmaster Battle Manual" by Vassilios Kotronias came in and as usual like a little boy I quickly opened the book to check it out.

I liked the layout and the many diagrams in the book.  I did not get chance to go through any of the games but one thing caught my eye.  The book has a number of chess illustration which I have taken the liberty to show you.  Hope I do not get sued for this!

Dark Gloomy Clouds In Kenyan Chess

I had mentioned on this blog sometime ago that Chess Kenya had appointed Satish Deshpande as Chief Executive Officer.

Well the sad news is that Satish has since resigned his post which is a great pity.  Chess Kenya was one of the very few sports in Kenya that had a Chief Executive.  Rugby & Football both have Chief Executives and it was great that Chess was at the top.  For once Kenyan Chess was looking bright.  At the end of the day a glorified Chairman or Secretary can only do so much.

Forgive me if I digress a bit.  In the bad old days of Kenyan Chess the Secretary used to be Larry Kagambi.  In those days the letter used to be signed as Secretary General - reminiscent of the title used by the Soviet Union or by the United Nations.

We had about 75 days of glory when the Chief Executive moved Heaven and Earth to get things done.  For once I had hope in Kenyan Chess.  At the back of my mind I was apprehensive that Satish was the lone gladiator in the Colesseum facing the 5 hungry starving lions.

The 5 hungry starving lions came out a lot sooner than expected.  I do not have the full story but my hunch is that after the fantastic 2015 Nairobi edition of the Millionaire's Open all the daggers were drawn for Satish.  He was the Tournament Manager and I guess some souls must have been unhappy with the way things turned out.  Both Kasparov Chess Foundation Honcho - Graham Jurgensen and Amy Lee of Millionaire Chess were delighted by the way the event was run.
From left Secretary Akello, Chairman Githinji, Graham KCF, Amy Lee of MC, Satish & Wanyama

My other feeling is that there is a pending trip or some surplus money that is causing the Top Brass at Chess Kenya to have indigestion.

There was also the pending matter of Chess Kenya aligning

Plastic Chessmen "Rajah Skak 83"

I know that many chess players love wooden chess sets and I am no exception to that rule.

I however still love plastic chess sets and collect some nice ones whenever I come across them.

 This set has a special significance to me.   Many years ago probably around 1985/86 one of Kenya's best players Saif Kanani was at the St John's Building where chess players used to meet every Sunday afternoon and every Wednesday evening.  It was nice spot in those days.  You parked your car outside (no worry about theft/parking fees etc).

King Harold Wanyama On His Way To Las Vegas!

Harold Wanyama put  up another fine display of strong chess to win the Nairobi satellite edition of the Millionaire Chess event held on the weekend of 30th April to 3rd May 2015 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

In the last round Harold dispatched Akello Atwoli to win the event with 7.5 out of 8 rounds.

Harold Wanyama in action
Harold won a cash prize of approximately USD 500 and wins a fully paid trip to Las Vegas to participate in the 2015 Las Vegas Millionaire Chess event to be held in October this year.

Day 4 Millionaire Satellite Event

Sorry guys.  I did not play yesterday due to various reasons but I have visited the venue today and bring you more action news and photos.

The big news today is we have the super charming Amy Lee in town.  Amy Lee is the main sponsor of the Millionaire Open Chess event and is here for the closing ceremony.  This is just fantastic news for Kenya who are facing a travel advisory due to the horrible terrorist attacks that we have faced.

Amy Lee consults with Chess Kenya Chairman Githinji Hinga
 We also had Graham Jurgensen of the Kasparov Chess Foundation in town as well.
Githinji Hinga, Graham Jurgensen from KCF and Amy Lee
View of the Open section
 I will try to pass by later and post some updates of the closing ceremony.  The big news is really that Harold Wanyama is leading with 6/7 and looks like that he will now most likely play  Ahmed Mowlid.
Sanjana Deshpande
 Round 7 had a fair share of controversy as the organisers decided not to publish the draw until 10 minutes before the start of the event.  Some players were unhappy with this decision which the organiser's had taken to stop the rampant game fixing that happens in the last few rounds in our events.
Peter Gilruth

David Kinoti

Githinji Hinga, Graham Jurgensen, Remel Ramirez & Chess Kenya CEO Satish Despande

Harold Wanyama in white shirt v Atwoli Akello

Harold on his way to victory

Clement Miheso former Chess Kenya Chairman

Friendly games

Day 2 Of Millionaire Open - What A Day!

I promised to give you a report of Day 2 from the venue.

I had to rush out of the house at 8.10am as the start time was 8.30am.  Where did my time go I quizzed myself as I drove like a maniac to the venue.

8.34am - I was at the venue only to be met by a huge crowd of chess players waiting to enter the venue.  KICC Security had insisted that all players must have  a badge. What a nightmare for the organisers.  The event started 45 minutes later but that was fine as there were chess players and old friends to chat to.

KICC tower from close

Arbiter Steve Ouma in middle makes some announcements

Fast Report On The Satellite Millionaire's Chess Open In Nairobi

A busy day in Nairobi!

30th April 2015 is the tax deadline and all accountants have their hair on fire today!  That includes chess lovers like us.

I could not resist the urge to go to Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) today and get some photos and updates on this amazing event in Nairobi.  Thanks to Kasparov Chess Foundation for putting Nairobi on the world stage.

Security was incredibly tight.  First check is right at the perimeter of the venue, then when you enter the building and then once again when you reach the floor where chess is taking place.

Mean looking armed policemen were everywhere.  I did not want to ask anyone for a photo!

The draw for the first round is shown here;


There were some small upsets - top seeded Emojong Elijah missed his first round!  The Ethiopian squad of was missing in action which is a shame.

Elijah Emojong during the 3rd Capablanca Cup in Nairobi held in 16th & 17th February 2013
In the second round Elijah was present and went on to play Peter Gilruth and won.

View from the balcony

All chair covers have the logo

Our Father of the Nation - Late President Kenyatta

A close up view.
I bring you very few photos due to the huge security around the venue and I was scared that I would be asked too many questions.

A total of 188 players have registered for this event which has 3 groups - Prestige, Open and the Juniors.  I will be playing the Open section and hope to get my readers some more photos during the week.  It has been tough getting my mind to accept that I have to play for 3 full days.

Now to some chess photos.  Unfortunately by the time I reached only one game was going on so I did not get many photos.  Here is what you can see;

Nerve centre Moses Andiwoh (yellow) & Tony Mutua

Shirts for the arbiters

Jonah Langat from Mombasa (left)

Clear favorite Harold Wanyama (right) plays a blitz game against Nsubuga Haruna

Playing hall for the Prestige section

Vincent Limo v Sanjana Deshpande while Arbiter Duke Michieka looks on

Vincent on his way to victory

Harold Wanyama - will he be going to Las Vegas?
There you go readers - a quick and dirty review of the 2015 Satellite Millionaire's Chess Tournament taking place right here in the heart of Africa.

Watch this blog for some more news this weekend.
Kenyan Chess On The Roll!

Kenyan Chess On The Roll!

I am very happy that there has a flurry of activity in Kenyan chess over the past few months. 

Next weekend brings us the Millionaire Open at the iconic Kenyatta International Conference Centre which is located smack in the middle of Nairobi.

I have now registered for that event and hope to bring you loads of photos and snippets of what is going on there next week.

In the meantime chess was on mainstream TV this week.  See clip below from Citizen TV.  The show as for a whole 30 minutes!


Kenya Millionaire Satellite Chess Festival

You will all recall that last year the Millionaire Chess event was held in Las Vegas.

Nairobi will be the host for one of the satellite events and fireworks are expected for this event.  The first prize is incredible - fully paid ticket, accommodation, meals and to take part in the Las Vegas Millionaire Chess Open from 8th to 12th October 2015.

The other two events for Africa are set for Lagos and Johannesburg later in the year.

This event promises to live up to its expectation from round 1 to round 8.  There will be no sharing of points, being kind to each other, deciding to share the cash fund.  There is no cash fund for the first prize.  Only one ticket is being given out.  I am told that the event is open to all so you can expect the Ugandans by the busloads and I will not be surprised to see Egyptians and Zambians coming for this event.

This event is promoted by Kasparov Chess Foundation and organised by Chess Kenya.  One will remember from my earlier posts that Kenya was firmly  and solidly in Kasparov's camp during the 2014 FIDE elections.

I guess we are now enjoying the fruits of that support.

Here is the poster for you to salivate.

I will as usual be there to bring some exciting morsels of information and some photos!

Nairobi Hosts The 7th FASU Games

This post was meant to have been done more than 9 months ago.  Work pressure and being disorganised means that you now are forced to read stale news.

Chess was one of the games that was part of the festival and I bring you some photos of the event.  The sad thing was that this event was hardly reported in the newspapers and Kenyan chess players did not seem so interested.  We had some strong players from Egypt here and really we needed to interact with them much more.

I am part of the guilty crowd that did not take much time and effort to meet our brothers and sisters who came from various African counties.

At least enjoy the photos.

Poster of the event

Kiambu Open Breaks All Time Record With 361 Entries

This had to be historic!

A chess tournament in Kenya that attracts a total of 361 players is an all time record.  Welcome to the 2015 Kiambu Open which has been sponsored by Kiambu County and organised by Nairobi Chess Academy & Club.


Many commentators said that the event attracted such huge numbers because there was no entry fee.  I think that was probably true but the main reason was that this event was one where "Chess went to the people" rather than "People coming for chess events".

I missed day one as being papa means that one has to drive kids up and down for various activities.  I managed to go on day 2 and managed to get some nice photos of this blockbuster chess event.

Posters at the event.
Steve Ouma who is the CEO of Nairob Chess Academy & Club has been actively working to promote chess within the different counties which is great. 

Former Kenya Champion waits for the start of round 5
All the big boys were present - Peter Gilruth, Ben Magana, John Mukabi and all seeking the glory of the first prize of KShs 30,000. 2nd prize was KShs 20,000 & 3rd was KShs 10,000.  Notable absentee was Mehul Gohil, Githinji Hinga & Akello Atwoli.

The ladies had the same prize structure and attracted Ivy Amoko of Ugandan together with Purity Maina, & Rose Wabuti.

Rose Wabuti in action

Ms Purity Maina

Joseph Methu - Winner of the 2015 Kiambu Open.

View of the playing hall

View of the playing hall

View of the playing hall

Peter Gilruth (left) v John Mukabi
Extracts of the final results

For the full listing of the event visit - http://chess-results.com/tnr167322.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=6&wi=821

Interesting observation is that another new player Arnold Oyagi is up there in 4th position.  I unfortunately do not know him so not sure if I have any photos of him.

I am very impressed by this event and hope that this will generate some new interest in this long neglected sport.  The sad news will be if one year later the only event in Kiambu is the same one sponsored by the County Govt.

I congratulate Kiambu County and Nairobi Chess Academy & Club for this ground breaking event.  For Joseph Methu that was a fine performance and hope to see you in the 2016 Olympiad Team.

I leave with a photo of CEO of Nairobi Chess Academy & Club Mr Steve Ouma.

Mehul Gohil (left) takes on CEO Steve Ouma

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