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Hail King Mehul and Queen Sanjana – Supreme Rulers of Kenyan Chess For 2014


The weekend of  12th to 14th December 2014 saw the 2014 Kenya National Championship being held at the Kenyatta University, SSBC Hall, Thika Road, Nairobi.

Over 110 players converged at the venue to battle it out in two separate sections – Open and the Ladies.

I did not attend and hence cannot give you some nice photos of the event apart from the prize giving ceremony.

This event attracted a lot of emotions as usual.  The winner of the Open Section was controversial blogger Mehul Gohil.  Many will recall that Mehul Gohil did not make it for the 2014 Tromso Chess Olympiad after being locked out by alleged game fixing in the final stages of the selection tournament.  There was an operation called “OMO” – “Operation Mehul Out” which was run by some of the participants and their sponsors.  The effect of this was Mehul went underground and only re-surfaced on 30th November 2014 during the Speed Chess event organised by Ramgarhia Youth Association at the Sikh Union Club.

2014 Kenya National Champion during the 2014 RYA chess festival

Mehul returned with a bang and won the event with a perfect score of 8/8 with the final game against Ricky Sang.

The 2014 Ladies Championship attracted an ugly incident which is a big shame on Kenyan Chess.   The winner was 17 year old Sanjana Deshpande who was clear winner with 6.5/8 points.  Sanjana is an Indian passport holder but resident of Kenya and hence eligible to take part in the event.  After she won the event there was an apparent attempt to hijack the title from her due to the fact that she was not Kenyan.  I have not been able t find out who was responsible for this action but I am deeply ashamed by this action.  Sanjana beat the whole field and won by a clear margin.

Sanjana Deshpande in action during the RYA Chess Festival

In the end commons sense prevailed and she was awarded the prestigious prize as the 2014 Kenya National Champion.

Proud Winners pose in front of officials of Chess Kenya – Photo from Satish Despande

Details of the event are shown below.

Open – http://www.chess-results.com/tnr154873.aspx?lan=1&art=4&wi=821
Ladies -http://www.chess-results.com/tnr154874.aspx?lan=1&art=4&wi=821

Tournament Details are shown below;

The details of both the OPEN and LADIES sections are as follows:

  1. Friday, 12th – 8.30 am to 6.30 pm
  2. Saturday, 13th – 8.00 am to 6.00 pm
  3. Sunday, 14th – 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Type: Individual event

Eligibility: All (Citizens, Residents and Non-residents)

Mode of Play:  8 rounds Swiss system
Time Control: 90 minutes per player to finish the game

Walkover Time: 30 minutes (with the exception of round 1, which will have no default losing time)

Participation Fee: 
  1. Kenyan residents: Ksh. 1000
  2. Non-residents: Ksh. 1500
  3. Juniors: Ksh. 500
Registration Deadline: 12 pm on Thursday, 11th December 2014

The prize structure will be announced/communicated before end of day, Sunday, 7th December 2014

Friday, 12th December 2014
  • 8.00 am to 8.15 am: Arrival
  • 8.15 am to 8.25 am: Technical meeting & briefing of rules
  • 8.30 am to 11.30 am: Round 1
  • 12.00 pm to 3.00 pm: Round 2
  • 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm: Round 3
Saturday, 13th December 2014
  • 8.00 am  to 11.00 am: Round 4
  • 11.30 am  to 2.30 pm: Round 5
  • 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm: Round 6
Sunday, 14th December 2014
  • 9.00 am  to 12.00 am: Round 7
  • 1.00 pm  to 4.00 pm: Round 8
  • 4.00 pm to 5.00 pm: Closing Ceremony and Prize Giving