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Financial Engineering for Chess Players


Nairobi Chess Club hosted  it’s 53rd Club Championship last weekend 27th & 28th August 2011.  In order to ensure that the event ran smoothly all players were required to register by 25th August 2011 and for which I was impressed almost 26 had done so by then.  The rest registered on 26th August.

I know many of you will be wondering how do players register so easily in Kenya. Well in Kenya we have “MPesa” which is a way to send money to others using your phone. Yeah – I know we in Kenya are light years ahead of the rest of the world in these matters!

On the night of 26th just as I was preparing the draw, I got a phone call from an old chess buddy who requested to be included in the draw. I told him it was simple and that all he had to do was to send money and he said that he would arrange tomorrow but just to include his name.  I thought that since Santa Claus does not live at the Equator I would wait for the money first.  The next morning I called him and told him this was his last chance to register and he said the funds were being sent but as expected there was nothing…….

View of the playing venue

I put up the draw on just before the start of the event and he walked in and asked me why his name was not included and I told him well…………I want to see the colour of money first………..He said he was going to arrange it.  He then approached a fellow chess player who gave him the entry fee of about USD 10 and he came to me again.  I told him that I would have to include him as an odd player who would have a bye in the first round.  I then proceeded to tell him that why early registration is vital etc and he told me that he understood and that he would not enter the event!!

Now that is called Financial Engineering. You have USD 10 in your pocket which you did not have when you arrived for the event.  The prize fund is USD 200 (top prize as about USD 90) and there are 20 players fighting for it and your chances are kinda good but….  What do you do. Take the USD 10 and run or do you risk the USD 10 on the entry fee to fight for the first prize of USD 90?.

The event was great and the list of winners was as follows;

Veteran Francis Ngesa (left) takes on Nikolai van Beek

Final Standings:
  1. Ben Magana – 4.5 points (out of 5)
  2. Bryan Taboso – 4 points
  3. Githinji Hinga – 4 points
  4. Mehul Gohil – 4 points
  5. George Nderitu – 3.5 points
  6. Hesbon Omanjo – 3 points
  7. Ricky Sang – 3 points
  8. Collins Young – 2.5 points
  9. Joseph Atwoli – 2.5 points
  10. Martin Oyamo – 2 point
Ben Magana (left) receives his trophy & cash prize from Mr Ramesh .T
For the Challengers it was as follows;

Final Standings:
  1. Vasanth Ramesh – 4.5 points (out of 5)
  2. Magesh Kumar – 4 points
  3. Peter Kinyanjui – 3.5 points
  4. Keith Kithome – 3.5 points
  5. Njuru Mwangi – 3.5 points
  6. Kevin Riungu – 3 points
  7. Tom Amwai – 3 points
  8. Jeneby Mohammed – 3 points
  9. Gweyani Jumba – 3 points
  10. T. Ramesh – 2.5 points.