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Tribute to a Chess Warrior

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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.
Younis Din.
Younis Din.

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.
Mr Younis Din (brown shirt away from the camera) during the 1993 Kenya Open at Braeburn School.
Mr Younis Din (brown shirt away from the camera) during the 1993 Kenya Open at Braeburn School.
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
Kenya Championship, 03.06.1995
[Fritz 12 (30s)]
E20: Nimzo-Indian: 4 g3 and 4 f3 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 last book move 4.g3 [4.Nf3 d5 5.e3 c5±] 4…Bb4 5.Bg2 b6 [5…d5 6.Nf3²] 6.a3 [6.Nf3!?±] 6…Bxc3+² 7.bxc3 d5 8.cxd5 cxd5 9.c4 0–0 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Nf3 Nbd7 12.0–0 Bb7 13.Re1 Re8 14.e3 [14.Qa4 Ne4²] 14…h6 Controls g5 15.Rb1 [15.Bb2 Rc8²] 15…Ne4= 16.Bd2 [16.Bb2 Qf6=] 16…Rc8 17.Bb4 a5 [¹17…Rc7= and Black can hope to live] 18.Bxa5!± Deflection: b6 18…Nc3 Diagram

XABCDEFGHY
8-+rwqr+k+(
7+l+n+pzp-‘
6-zp-+-+-zp&
5vL-+p+-+-%
4-+-zP-+-+$
3zP-sn-zPNzP-#
2-+-+-zPLzP”
1+R+QtR-mK-!
xabcdefghy

[18…bxa5 19.Rxb7 Clearance Deflection Pinning] 19.Bxc3+- Rxc3 20.Rb3 Qc7 [20…Rc7 21.Rb4+-] 21.Qb1 Rc8 [21…Rxb3 22.Qxb3 Re6 23.Bh3+-] 22.Rxc3 Qxc3 23.Bh3 Rc7 24.Bxd7 Rxd7 25.Qxb6 Qxa3 26.Ne5 Re7 27.Qd8+ Kh7 28.Kg2 [¹28.Rb1 f6 29.Nd7+-] 28…Qb4?? Diagram

 

8-+-wQ-+-+(
7+l+-trpzpk’
6-+-+-+-zp&
5+-+psN-+-%
4-wq-zP-+-+$
3+-+-zP-zP-#
2-+-+-zPKzP”
1+-+-tR-+-!
xabcdefghy

 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

XABCDEFGHY
8-+-wQ-+-+(
7+l+-+pzpk’
6-+-+-+-zp&
5+-+-zP-+-%
4-+-zpq+-+$
3+-+-zP-zPK#
2-+-+-zP-zP”
1+-tR-+-+-!
xabcdefghy

[¹31…Qf5+ secures the win 32.Kg2 d4+ 33.Kg1–+] 32.Qxd4 [32.exd4?? Qf5+ 33.g4 Qf3+ 34.Kh4 Qxf2+ 35.Kh5 g6#] 32…Qg2+ 33.Kh4 [33.Kg4 the only chance to get some counterplay 33…Be4 34.Qxe4+ Qxe4+ 35.f4 Qxe3 36.Rc7 Qe2+ 37.Kf5–+] 33…g5+ 34.Kg4 Kg6 Diagram 
 
 Y

8-+-+-+-+(
7+l+-+p+-‘
6-+-+-+kzp&
5+-+-zP-zp-%
4-+-wQ-+K+$
3+-+-zP-zP-#
2-+-+-zPqzP”
1+-tR-+-+-!
xabcdefghy

 

 Black has a mate threat [34…Qf3+ 35.Kh3 Qh5+ 36.Qh4 g4#] 35.Qd6+= Kg7?? lets it slip away [¹35…Kh7 would save the game 36.Qf6 Bf3+ 37.Qxf3 h5+ 38.Kxh5 Qxf3+ 39.Kxg5 Kg7–+] 36.Qf6++- Kf8 [36…Kg8 does not solve anything 37.e4 Qxe4+ 38.Kh5 Qh7+-] 37.Rc4 [37.Qh8+ Ke7 38.Rc7+ Ke6 39.Qf6+ Kd5 40.Qd6+ Ke4 41.Rc4#] 37…Bf3++- 38.Kf5 Be4+ [38…Qh3+ there is nothing better in the position 39.g4 Bxg4+ 40.Ke4 Be6 41.Qh8+ Ke7 42.Rc7+ Bd7 43.Qf6+ Ke8+-] 39.Rxe4 Qf3+ 40.Rf4! Decoy: f4 40…gxf4 [40…gxf4 41.Qxh6+ Decoy Discovered attack Double attack; …40…– 41.Rxf3 Mate threat] 41.exf4 [41.Qxh6+ Kg8 42.exf4 Qg2 43.Qg5+ Kf8 44.Qd8+ Kg7+-] 41…Qd3+ [41…Qh5+ is still a small chance 42.Ke4 Qe2+ 43.Kd5 Qa2+ 44.Kc5 Qxf2+ 45.Kc6 h5 46.Qd8+ Kg7 47.Qg5+ Kf8+-] 42.Kg4 Qe2+ 43.f3 Qxh2 [43…Kg8 is the last straw 44.Qxh6 Qc4+-] 44.Qh4 [¹44.e6!? and White can already relax 44…h5+ 45.Kf5 Qc2+ 46.Kg5 Qc7+-] 44…Qe2 45.Qxh6+ Kg8 46.Qg5+ Kf8 47.Qh6+ [¹47.Qd8+ and the rest is a matter of technique 47…Kg7 48.Qf6+ Kg8 49.f5+-] 47…Ke7 [47…Kg8 48.Qc6 Kf8 49.Qc5+ Kg7+-] 48.e6! the final nail in the coffin. . . [48.e6 fxe6 49.Qg7+ Kd8 50.Qe5+-]  1–0