Home Chess News Chess players get ready for the Peter Le Pelley Cup

Chess players get ready for the Peter Le Pelley Cup


Chess players will this weekend gear up for the first event of 2016 when they converge at the iconic Goan Gymkhana Club, Ngara Road, Westlands for the inaugural Peter Le Pelley Cup.

160119 Peter Le Pelley Cup Tournament Poster
Poster for the event
The home of Nairobi Chess Club is at the well established Goan Gymkhana Club.

The late Peter Le Pelley was born in Kenya and was a graduate of Oxford university where he played chess.  He later rose to become a prominent Nairobi lawyer with the firm Hamilton Harrison Mathew.  He was a former chairman of Nairobi Chess Club and a very keen chess player.  More on the life of Mr Le Pelley who passed away on 11th March 2010 can be found here –Peter Le Pelley Obituary Revised.

The late Peter Le Pelley in an undated photo (credit Henry Le Pelley)

The initiative to honour the former chairman came from Warren Pollock who is a current Nairobi Chess Club committee member and is expected to an annual event in future.

My earliest recollection of Peter Le Pelley was when Kenya played Uganda in a well publicised match at the Hiton Hotel.  Peter was playing board 1 for Kenya and he was using his personal wooden set with white and red pieces.  This was what the Sunday Nation newspaper said the following day.

Sunday Nation 11th May 1975
Image (50)
A photo from the Nairobi Chess Club archive that made the story in the Daily Nation of 17th August 1961.

I then met him in his office when I had to see him for a legal matter when I was working at a bank in the 1990’s.  The meeting was very brief and I hardly had any time to chat to him about chess.

Many of you will recall that he was a commissioner during the infamous Goldenberg inquiry between 2002 and 2005.  This scandal remains one of those massive frauds that were so incredibly ingenious in its planning and execution and which involved the export of gold from Kenya.  Those who wish to read more about this story should check out Goldenberg Scandal on Wikipedia.  This reminds me of an old cartoon that I did during that time.

Cartoon on the Goldenberg scandal

This event will be run over 5 rounds and with a  time control of only 25 minutes.  There are a number of new players who have registered and amongst the top contenders for this keenly awaited event are Peter Gilruth, Steven Ouma and Mehul Gohil.

Nairobi Chess Club v Eastlands Chess Club on 22nd June 2013 at the Goan Gymkhana Club.
What a usual Saturday afternoon club session looks like.

We will bring you live updates on our Facebook Page – Kenya Chess Masala during the event.