I ventured out last Sunday 14th August 2011 to see some chess action. The “chess stadium” was Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, Naivasha Hall. This was where some 40 male chess players and 20 ladies were battling to make the team. Only 4 men and 4 ladies were going to be part of the team. It was a brutal first leg where a Swiss format was used to select the top 10 who were now going to play a round robin…………………..
The venue was breathtaking …………………. Check out my google earth photo of the site. This stadium was build for the 1987 All Africa Games which were held in Nairobi (stories for another day) and it was funded by the Chinese Govt. My immediate reaction was “2012 Africa Junior Chess Championship” must be held here.
After parking my car and looking for the venue and rushing in with my Canon camera in tow………..I came across the coffee/tea table laid out with cups/saucers/ and cakes. I was cordially invited to partake some refreshments which I gladly did so after my long torturous journey. So here I was enjoying a free cup of coffee from the government.
It was amazing…………. The Chairman of Chess Kenya Andolo Ambasi, the General Secretary Larry Kagambi, and Committee Member Steve Ouma were present together with officials from the Ministry of Sports Mr Ratemo & Ruy Mwendwa Mututo and of course – the chess players and spectators themselves. Everyone was very cordial and the atmosphere was electric.
Who could have imagined that this group of “friends” were at each others throats just few months ago? The last Chess Kenya AGM held on 30th January 2011 was crudely aborted after 6 hours! We have had lawyers letters sent from officials to certain players, we also have Kenya’s first suit filed by a chess official against a player. What high powered drama!
This Qualifier almost did not happen. It was a last minute plan that was almost sabotaged but here we were……….Players, Bigwigs from Chess Kenya, Officials from the Ministry, Parents, Diehard fans all congregating at the “Temple of Caissa” to seek the Fabulous Four to represent Kenya.
This event must rank amongst the strongest event held in Kenya over the recent past.
The final standing is shown below;
The final standings of the chess qualifiers are as follows:
1. PETER GILRUTH – 7.5
2. MEHUL GOHIL – 6.5
3. MARTIN GATERI – 6.0
4. JOSEPH ATWOLI – 5.5
5. BENJAMIN MAGANA – 5.0
6. GITHINJI HINGA – 4.5
7. MATTHEW KANEGENI – 3.5
8. GEORGE MATHEA – 3.5
9. RICKY SANG’ – 1.5
10. WILLIAM WACHANIA – 1.5
Peter Gilruth who was placed 11th overall on Saturday joined the last ten following the withdrawal of Martin Oyamo.
1. VAISHNAVI RAMMOHAN – 6.5
2. ISABELLE ASIEMA – 6.0
3. REHEMA MARIA – 6.0
4. GWEYANI JUMBA – 5.5
5. PURITY GACHIGI – 5.5
6. ROSEMARY WABUTI – 4.0
7. ELIZABETH MINAYO – 4.0
8. SHEFALI KACHRA – 3.5
9. WINROSE NYOTA – 2.0
10. LEAH WANGARI – 1.0
For the ladies, position no. 4 was decided on an accelerated time “blitz” in which Gweyani Jumba defeated Purity Gachigi 2-1. Rehema Maria who was placed 11th overall on Saturday joined the last ten following the withdrawal of Saloni Karania.