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

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