Home Chess Tournaments Recap of the 2015 Mombasa Open

Recap of the 2015 Mombasa Open


The much anticipated 2015 Mombasa Open was held over the long weekend of 17th to 19th October 2015 at the Technical University of Mombasa. 

This was the 4th edition of the event.  This event was the first part of the Grand Prix system to select the Kenya Olympiad Team to the 2016 Baku Olympiad.  For the juniors this represented the Coast edition of the Kenya Junior Championship.
Mombasa beaches are just beautiful


Madaafu or as the English call it coconuts


When cut you drink the juice
Lighthouse which is along Mama Ngina Drive Mombasa
Cassava crisps being made at Lighthouse, Mombasa
As soon as the poster came out there was a flurry of activity on Social Media with some commentators confirming that the cash prizes for the 2014 Mombasa Open had not yet been paid out!  The poor organisers of the event were suddenly facing a nightmare situation with some players calling for a boycott of the event.
Poster of the event
I keep saying on this blog that we Kenyans love our chess.  We may not be the best in Africa but I believe that we are Africa’s most passionate players.  In the end a total of about 77 players made their way to the beautiful city of Mombasa.
Junior section (photo credit Mombasa Chess Club)
Action photo (photo credit Mombasa Chess Club)
It was however clear that the chess god “Cassia” had not yet been appeased.  Drama continued before and during the event.  A contingent of players were stuck in a “mother of all traffic jams” on Mombasa Road near Mariakani on Thursday/Friday.  To pile on more misery for chess players and organiser there was a demonstration by the Technical University of Mombasa on 18th October 2015 which turned rowdy and had to be quelled by loads of tear gas from the police.  None of this dampened the spirit of the game and it in the end Arthur Ssegwanyi of Uganda won the event with 5.5/6 to take home KES 15,000 (approximately USD 150) out of a total prize fund of KES 50,000 which as split into the Open and Ladies section.
Mother of all traffic jams – We love chess so take out the board! (photo credit Brian Kidula)


Joseph Maigua (left) v Brian Kidula (photo credit Brian Kidula)


Joys of living in Kenya – traffic jam along Mombasa Road (photo credit Steve Ouma)


Arbiter Duke Micheka ponders whether he should start jogging to the venue! (photo credit Steve Ouma)
In joint second were South Sudanese buddies James Madol, Peter Diing,  then Ken Omolo, noise maker Mehul Gohil and Sajid Nurmohamed.  Sajid resurfaced after a long absence from Kenyan chess.
Ronald Lwebuga v Mehul Gohil (photo credit Mombasa Chess Club)


Jacktone Mony & Karan Christie (photo credit Mombasa Chess Club)
Arthur Ssegwanyi holds the winners trophy
In the Ladies section Emmah Wagari and Agnes Thuo tied with 4/6 to share the top prize of KES 6.500 each.  In the Junior section Arul Samesh cruised to 6/6.
In the end the chess god “Caissa” had been appeased and the 2015 Mombasa Open went down as a fantastic event.  Big thumbs up to the hard working organisers Andrew Syangabo and Paul Ombui who put up the show despite not having any sponsors.  Well done.
Evidence of our passion for chess can be found in this poem done by Tom Amwai.
Author of the poem below – Tom Amwai holds his head in agony during the 2015 National Speed Chess tournament
I show no mercy on boards, just to bring you all Chess Masala from Mombasa open like CHEBET/
Mombasa open was never open for hours to Both Lions and Gazelles who are rated and UNRATED/
The highway to the venue was blocked by cargo trucks, I could not see the coast along the files, Ranks and DIAGONALS/
We needed prayers, but the only obstacle was that we had bad bishops on blocked DIAGONALS/
We spent hours to access the venue cuz the passion for the game is huge, access it by ELEVATORS/
Ain’t sure if this was one of the strategy of weak Gazelles from the coast to win the tourney without PREDATORS/
Blocking the avenue was a weak defence against the vulnerable royal family of Hassan JOHO/
We managed to sacrifice some pawns, overlap on roads, just to access the Technical University HALL/
Chess players are never scared by the threat of Al-Shaabab presence at the COAST/
We have massive attack like Tal with pawns checking on diagonals with deadly double edge syllable SWORDS/
Most of the serious chessers never showed up, they doubted if they can SURVIVE/
Their pessimistic advisors planted seeds of psychological fear in their veins, that they will never come back ALIVE/

They dreaded the thought of stepping on explosives, their rating points clipped by starving GAZELLES/
The mighty Andiwoh was the green grass in the jaws, he bled on boards jus to shed some blood CELLS/
Panchol was fierce on boards from the first to the 5th round, but Arthur stopped him from punching ALL/
He removed his gloves, threw a d5 punch to the IMs e4 to entertain spectators in the playing HALL/
Arthur dint wait for the grace to reach the SUPERNATURAL/
A couple of moves, the dude was mauled in every ANGLE/
His carcass was damaged in the sight of scavengers who wished to be part of the BRAWL/
The Sudanese hated why his prayers never left the venue cuz his bishops were behind blocked DIAGONALS/

Kidula was the star going against the hill without an anchor SLING/
Mehul suffered this loss, that motivated him to blind Singe, not to visualize a WIN
On Monday the Mombasa chessers couldn’t withstand the heat from the BOARDS/
They were roasted with Juggernauts who can’t be stopped from the boards by teargas canisters from anti-riot Joho’s CASTLES/

The Technical varsity students went on riot, to protest against increased FEES/
It was fortunate that the tourney wasn’t disrupted, cuz chess players are most feared than the POLICE/
Am still not sure if these were still part of schemes to stop the Lords of the BOARDS/
Who still had to squeeze some lungs on STOCK/
That is still under investigation by the CHIEF ARBITER/
Come up with a report that will slaughter the culprits in the ABATTOIR/

I wanna thank all the winners, Arthur and Emmah on the PODIUM
That was a well fought battle, leaving behind Bodies damaged by URANIUM/
The next assignment shifts to the most decorated BUNGOMA CHESS OPEN/
Consult the Poster for details, the west never disappoints in using pawns to slaughter CHICKENS/
                                                                                                                                                                 Tom Amwai