Home Chess Tournaments Kenneth Omolo triumphs in Daystar Open

Kenneth Omolo triumphs in Daystar Open

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Kenneth Omolo bagged the top prize at the 2015 Daystar Open which came to a climax last Sunday when he finished with 5/6 points to take home the winner’s trophy plus KES 18,000.  His loot was lower than the top KES 30,000 as he had to share the cash prize with Nsubuga Haruna, Ben Magana and Githinji Hinga.

Kenneth Omolo in military attire
Banner of the event
Kenneth’s grab at the full top prize was only stopped when Haruna Nsubuga defeated him in the final round.
From left Benard Wanjala, Gwen Jumba, Kenneth Omolo, Elijah Emojong, John Mukabi & Godfrey all from Equity Bank. Photo from Benard Wanjala
The revelation of the event was unrated Boniface Kathurima who defeated big names like Ben Magana Jackson Ndegwa and Philip Singe in successive rounds.  In fact midmorning of Day 2 it appeared that former JKUCAT captain would run away with the title leaving all the big names to pick their lower jaws from the dusty plains of Athi River.
That dream run for Boniface was cut short rudely when Kenneth Omolo and Githinji Hinga stopped him cold in this tracks in the last two rounds.  
Ronald Lwebuga (left) v Ben Magana
This event was the first event to be part of the new Grand Prix system to select Team Kenya for the 2016 Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan.  The interesting thing is that Boniface Kathurima who was unrated will have the highest TPR of 2102.  This suddenly makes the battle for the team much more exciting.    The top ten players according to TPR after this event is as follows;
1. Boniface Kiunga 2102
2. Atwoli Joseph 2093
3. Omolo Kenneth 2039
4. CM Magana Ben 2004
5. Ricky Sang 1941
6. Victor Hongo 1901
7. CM Mukabi John 1874
8. Hinga Githinji 1865
9. Singe Phillip Mbawala 1855
10. George Ochieng 1852
Top 16 players from the Prestige section
Karan Christie one of the pioneers of the chess club of Daystar University
To those who are celebrating that Team Kenya will now have new faces are in for a shock.  I expect the former Olympians to put up a good show over the next few months and expect pretty much the same team to go as last time.  I can only see perhaps only one new face.   The good thing about this system is that it makes it much easier for chess players who live out of Nairobi to have a shot at the team.  In the past the 3 phase system has favoured all the sons and daughters of Nairobi only.
In the Open section it was clear who was going to win from the beginning.  IM Elijah Emojong and IM Arthur Ssegwanyi were 1st & 2nd respectively with 6/7.  Both players are from Uganda and could not play in the Prestige section due to their +2200 rating. 
IM Arthur Ssegwanyi (left) and IM Elijah Emojong
It is very clear that Kenya is going to be forced to have events with 3 sections in future; those with +2200 rating and I guess we could call this the Platinum Section, a Prestige section and then the Open section.  
Top 16 from Open section. Note 4 South Sudanese in the top 10
In the Ladies section it was WFM Ivy Amoko who took top place with 6.5/7 followed by Gwen Jumba with 5.5/7 and then Jane Wambugu with 5.  There were no surprises here.

Final standings from the Ladies section
WFM Ivy Amoko notes her move
Action from Day 1
I unfortunately do not have photos of Day 2 as I was at another interesting event being held at the Ngong Racecourse.  It was the 2015 Concours D’Elegance and this year’s edition was far more electric.  The most interesting thing was the number of Ugandans who took part in this year’s event.  I guess it just goes to show that Ugandans are our really good neighbours and who turn up for our sporting events in large numbers.  A total of 4 Ugandans playing chess and a whole delegation of bikers & cars from Uganda.  I guess it is time for me to keep silent and let you have a look at some of the fine machines on display.
Ronald Walusimbi’s Mercedes W114 who came from Uganda
Leslie Carvell with a 1970 VW
Stephen Mukisa from Uganda on his Yamaha V Star 1100

 

Matovu Sunday also from Uganda on his Yamaha R1

 

Some of the bikes from Uganda

 

More bikes

 

Team Uganda

 

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My dream Alfa that belongs to Fergus Robley

 

My dream Alfa that belongs to Fergus Robley

 

MG off the ramp

 

Saab 96 by David Dass Jnr

 

Alfa Romeo replica by Cassini & Tonolo Ltd

 

There can be only one great car the 911 by ALS

 

Alfa Montreal by Robert Mutahi.  One of the only 5,000 cars build

 

Alfa Montreal by Robert Mutahi.  One of the only 5,000 cars build

 

Mercedes 190SL from DT Dobie
There was a special section for those with kids who were kept busy with various activities colouring, drawing etc.  The main attraction was the “LEGO” stall.  They had organised competitions through out the day with the best kids going home with their Lego creation and I enclose a sample of a winning entry by Aman Bhari.
One of the winning entries of the day by Aman Bhari
Lego stall
 I reckon that this event attracts over 7,000 visitors and is really a great way to spend a Sunday.