Mr Younis Din who was a friend of mine for the past 16 years was the last chess warrior in Kenya. Despite his advanced age he was very keen to play any opponent without any fear. His love of the game can be demonstrated by the fact that he played in the 2001 Kenya National Chess Championship held at the plush New Stanley Hotel. He was the oldest participant there and that did not stop him from making all his opponents struggle to win any games. He eventually scored ? out of 6 points.
Mr Din was a frequent visitor to my house in Nairobi West in the 1980s. We spent many long hours battling it out on the 64 squares. Unfortunately my study commitments prevented me from playing more games.
Our most memorable encounter was during the 1995 Kenya Chess Championship held at the Nairobi Gymkhana during the Madaraka weekend of 1st June 1995. The event attracted about 120 participants and I was White against a good friend and opponent. Have you ever wrestled a polar bear? That is how I felt when I struggled to do exactly that in 59 moves.
The last time I saw Mr Din was when he came home sometime last year and played a few games with Mr F Rodrigues and I. It was a delightful afternoon to play chess with such an aficionado.
This is a tribute to my good friend. All chess players will dearly miss you.
Rest in peace, my dear friend.
Check and Checkmate!
Chess Fanatic, Kenya Championship – Yunis Din, Nairobi Gymkhana
solves nothing [28…Rxe5 29.dxe5 d4+ 30.Kg1±] 29.Rc1 [¹29.Nd3 and White takes home the point 29…Qd2 30.Qxe7+-] 29…Rxe5± 30.dxe5 Qe4+ 31.Kh3?? makes life more difficult [¹31.f3 Qxe3 32.Rf1±] 31…d4 Diagram