We take you back to 2nd May 1994 when Lothar Nikolaiczuk became the first German National to win the Kenya National Chess Championship which was held at the YMCA, State House Road, Nairobi.
The tough 1994 Kenya National Championship was held during the long weekend of 30th April to 2nd May 1994 and attracted a record number of 126 players! That event was proudly sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank Ltd who also had a team in the Kenya National League.
Lothar took home a grand sum of KES 10,000 for winning the event with 6.5/7. To put this amount in perspective the 2015 Kenya National Champion took home only KES 20,000!
Lothar who lived in Lamu for most of the time he was in Kenya is one of the most prolific chess authors in the world. He has written 23 chess books over the past 3 decades. The only reason you might not have heard of him is because all the books are in German! I have enclosed the link where you can purchase some of the books. Beyerverlag.de
Lothar was born in in Bochum, Germany in 1954 and learnt to play chess when he was 14 years old. He now lives in Bali, Indonesia after spending time in Morocco, Kenya and Ghana.
I was lucky to find an old article written by Lothar Nikolaiczuk (FIDE rating 2285) and where he annotated one of his game against the late George “Solo” Otieno during this event. I have his story and then the annotated game.
Heart Attack & Mate – article by Lothar Nikolaiczuk
Did you know that the heart attack is top chess players’ favourite reason to get mated and pass away? This is not due to any organic predestination but the result of an increased confrontation with artificial time trouble.
About one century ago it was decided that any official chess game had to be controlled by a clock in order to equalise the time of reflection. Furthermore the games should come to a result in a reasonable and practical amount of time, as without clocks it occasionally happened that a game lasted for a couple of days and probably one of the players, supposed to dive in deep thoughts, had already died a couple of moves ago, and not because of a heart attack but because of paralysing boredom.
I remembered this curious phenomenon taking part in the Kenyan Championship back in 1994 when lack of material forced the organisers to have the last twenty boards fight for honour and title without the disturbing help of clocks. Surprisingly none of these games lasted longer than any of the time controlled ones, and yet the top players had been exposed to a higher risk of a cordial blackout. Is that not weird?
Here is my best game from that championship.
For those who would like to see the final ranking of that event which was the 4th Kenya National Championship.
I was also very lucky to find the following from my archives. The final position of the game between John Mukabi v Lothar Nikolaiczuk during the encounter in round 4 of the 1994 Kenya National Chess Championship.