Home Chess News CM Ben Magana is the 57th Nairobi Chess Club Champion

CM Ben Magana is the 57th Nairobi Chess Club Champion


Ben Magana is crowned 57th Nairobi Chess Club Champion

I have no idea what he eats or what he reads – but CM Ben Magana affectionately known as ‘Big Ben‘ due to his towering presence once again demolished a strong field of 23 players in the Prestige Section of the 57thNairobi Chess Club Championship to scoop the top prize of KES 30,000.  To put things in perspective CM Ben Magana remains the only Kenyan to have defeated a Grandmaster which happened when he defeated GM Ahmed Adly of Egypt in 2007.  He is also 3 times Kenya Champion which is just some of his many accolades that he has.

Some of you will recall that CM Ben Magana won the 53rdedition of the same event in 2011.
CM Ben Magana on his way to victory.
CM Ben Magana on his way to victory.
This means that CM Ben Magana has now won 3 major events in almost effortless style this year. First it was the ‘2015 Scottish Tartan Open in Kisumu in June, then the 2015 National Speed Chess Championship in July and now this.  Taking this event with 5.5/6 in a strong field of which included by the way 3 very strong Ugandans who came looking for some of the loot!
Isaac Otim from Uganda


By the way the Kenyan politicians are having a serious quarrel about Ugandan sugar being allowed into the country.  I will not bore you with the details but it is so damn annoying that Uganda is part of  COMESA and is entitled to export sugar to Kenya without any restrictions. 
I have worked in the sugar industry and know that sugar is hugely profitable.  Consider this – almost everyone needs at least 4 spoons (each spoon is 4 grams) of sugar with your tea/coffee. Now multiply that by 40 million x 365 days gives you 233.6 metric tons or say 233,600,000 kilos of sugar.  Even KES 1 profit per kilo is staggering.
In chess we love our Ugandan brothers and sisters as they add great fighting spirit to our events.
I better stop now as this is a chess story and leave with some cartoons from the Daily Nation Newspaper  about sugar done by one of my favorite cartoonist Gathara.

Is it a draw?

CM Ben Magana’s route to victory was almost derailed when his team mate FM Steve Ouma who had only 6 seconds left stopped the clocks and summoned the arbiter to claim a draw.  An almost rowdy scene erupted when Arbiter Moses Andiwoh registered a draw.  After hectic consultation with other Arbiters it was decided that the game must continue.  Just because some books says that Rook pawn endings are drawn does not mean that one can claim a draw.  I leave you with the position for you to make up your mind.
In second place was 2014 Kenya National Champion (but later denounced and then banned) Mehul Gohil.  Mehul who had lost to Dr Kevins Omondi on Saturday to see his title chase go up in flames ended up with 5/6.  
You will recall that Mehul Gohil was banned by Chess Kenya from taking part in the 2015 Speed Chess Championship in July got his sweet revenge on Sunday when he dispatched Chess Kenya Secretary Joseph Atwoli in a crushing attack.
Adversaries on and off the board – Joseph Atwoli v Mehul Gohil
He then faced Chess Kenya Chairman Githinji Hinga in the 5thround.  Githinji put up a stiff fight and it was down to Mehul’s 4 pawns v Githinji’s 3 pawns on the same side of the board.  A tough encounter which was eventually won by Mehul.  
Githinji with White to move in tough game against Mehul Gohil
Mehul was delighted by the way the Gods had conspired to make him play both these powerful Chess Kenya officials in one day and to win both the games!  Mehul went home KES 15,000 richer for his efforts.
FM Haruna Nsubuga of Uganda was 3rd with 4.5 out of 6 to go back home with KES 10,000.  
FM Haruna Nsubuga of Uganda

Open Section

In the Open Section James Madol Panchol from South Sudan emerged triumphant with 5.5/6, followed by Evans Sinoya from Bungoma with the same points but lower Bucholz.  They each went home with KES 11,250.
Evans Sinoya 2nd in Open looking relaxed
James Madol Panchol winner of the Open section

Ladies Section

Almost forgot about the tough Ladies Section. Our adopted sister from Uganda WFM Ivy Amoko demolished all with a perfect 6/6 to go home with KES 15,000, while in 2ndplace was Gloria Jumba who with 5/6 who went home with KES 7,500 and in joint 3rd& 4th youngsters Riya Shah and Saloni Karania.

Our adopted daughter from Uganda WFM Ivy Amoko

Junior Section

In the Junior Section which had 40 players was won by Anish Sukumar with 5/5 followed by Krishi Shah with the same number of points and then Dylan Brady Onyango with 4 points.

Some of the junior players
Some of the junior players

For the full results please check out www.chess-results.com.

Trophies for the Open & Prestige Sections
The closing ceremony
Chess Kenya Chairman Githinji Hinga speaks
Mehul Gohil wins his trophy from Chess Kenya Chairman Githinji Hinga
Nairobi Chess Club Chairman Kim Bhari presents the winners trophy to Ben Magana


This grand event was sponsored by Anju Paunrana, Roders Adai, Aslam Adam, Brian Kidula and Mushfig Habilov.

I end my story for today with a quote from the Bible for these fine ladies and gentlemen who sponsored such a great event.

“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in!
Try it! Put me to the test!”
Malachi 3:10 (NLT)