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Ambasi Open International Chess Tournament

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I received a poster for the above event earlier this month.  This event is being sponsored by Andolo Ambasi the current Supremo of Chess Kenya.  A friend of mine from the past and who has played a couple of games at my house over a few Tuskers in the early 1990s with my other chess buddies……..that story is for another time.

I was impressed by it especially when you consider the following;

A guaranteed first prize of Ksh 30,000/= (almost USD 350) in the open category and Kshs 30,000/= in the Ladies Category will be awarded. Prizes for the runners up and any supposedly increase in first prize will be announced later.

Andolo Ambasi (left) takes on Mehul Gohil during their encounter in a chess tournament held at United Kenya Club.
Andolo Ambasi (left) takes on Mehul Gohil during their encounter in a chess tournament held at United Kenya Club.

DATE: MARCH 14th – 18th, 2012

This event was going to be a rated event as well.

Venue :The venue is Sirikwa Hotel in Eldoret.

The last time we had a top prize of KShs 30,000 for any chess event in Kenya was years ago.  The other big point was that this event was slated for Eldoret which is fantastic as almost all events in the past 10 years have been in Nairobi and a couple in Mombasa.

Would I go for it. Not really due to work pressure.

This event in any other country would have been highly welcome but no! This is Kenya.  There has been a vicious backlash and even I must admit that I was surprised from some of the comments in cyber-space…

One must bear in mind the current context of chess in Kenya.

The National Championship has not been held for over 4 years, the National League was meant to commence in August 2011 but has not yet started, the team for the All Africa Games was almost sabotaged at the last stages by certain individuals, the Chess Kenya elections are due in April 2012 ………….so now when you read the comments you will understand why there is so much anger…

“I’ve been thinking: we’ve not had a rated tournament for nearly a decade or longer, the sitting federation chairman and his team organize one and the first thing he thinks of is to name it after
himself. I thought we were done with Moi era” – C.Y

So the National championships has been shelved in favour of Ambasi Championships, or what is going on?. WW

Ambasi has done jack for 4 years and now in an election stunt he does this event. As a matter of principle I will boycott this event. – MG

Someone should tell Ambasi where to stuff his rated tournament – I would rather remain an unrated patzer! C.Y

 We are not that cheap ! GM

My overall comment is the event should still go ahead. Noise makers will always be there but I would have prefer if the funds that Ambasi is investing (I consider it an investment as it is an election year) should have gone for the 2012 Kenya National Chess Championship.  Having that event rated would have been a bonus.

I will keep you my readers updated as the drama unfolds!