Home Chess News Ben Magana wins 2015 Eastland’s Open

Ben Magana wins 2015 Eastland’s Open




This weekend of 28th & 29thNovember 2015 saw more action for chess players when the annual Eastlands Open took place at the Ofafa Jericho, Community Hall in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
Poster for the event
This FIDE rated event was expected to attract over 60 players but only about 20 players registered for it which was a great disappointment to the organisers.  It appears that a bit of political noise on the chess front may have affected the turnout of this event.
Action photos (photo credit to Terence Chazima)


Action photos (photo credit to Terence Chazima)
Other reasons that may have affected this event was the fact that a junior tournament was held over the same weekend at the Nairobi Gymkhana Club and the current rainy weather may have played a part.
View of the hall (photo credit to Terence Chazima)
The 2014 Eastland Open Champion is Moses Andiwo had confirmed that he was not going to defend his title.
This year’s event has a prize fund of KES 38,000 and has been sponsored by Hon. Benson Mutura, Asille Trading Company (Mr Neel Shah), Chess Kenya and Kim Bhari.
Nice to see many new faces (photo credit to Terence Chazima)


Action photos (photo credit to Terence Chazima)
The winner of this event was the evergreen Ben Magana who garnered 5.5/6 followed by Jonah Langat and Thomas Nzioki both with 5/6.
The sad thing about this event is that one of the sponsors of this event did not honour his pledge leaving the poor organisers stranded like an “isolated pawn”.  It is just so annoying that some people make big promises to sponsor chess events and then do a disappearing act or promise to pay later.

Action photos (photo credit to Terence Chazima)
The organisers have pledged to honour their commitments to the prize winner within a week.
Some commentators have been critical about this debacle on the cash prizes including myself.  The negative side is that it tarnishes the name of chess and only makes it more difficult to attract sponsorship.  The flip side of this is that we had a tournament in that part of the city and it was encouraging to see new faces some of whom were youngsters.  It is from these type of events being held in different neighbours that the game can flourish.
We hope other organisers can take note and host small events to promote this fantastic game.
Chairman of Eastlands Chess Club – Geoffrey Mulaga facing a tough position in the 2009 Olympiad selection tournament
I have attempted to reconstruct the list of winners from the past.
2011 – Harold Wanyama
2012 – Unknown
2013 – Steve Ouma
2014 – Moses Andiwoh