Home Chess News 2015 Kenya National Chess Championship due this weekend.

2015 Kenya National Chess Championship due this weekend.

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Strathmore University is getting ready to host the 2015 Kenya National Championship during the  weekend of 11th to 13thDecember 2015.  This 8 round event will be held at their Madaraka Campus and has attracted over 60 entries to date.

Poster for the event

 

This event will be the 4th event which is part of the Grand Prix series to select the 2016 Olympiad team to Baku, Azerbaijan.  The prize fund is KES 70,000 with the winner taking home a total of a cool KES 20,000.
I am an alumni of Strathmore College of Accountancy which then grew into Strathmore University.  During that time the Strathmore College of Accountancy was based along Riverside Drive, Nairobi where the Strathmore Secondary School is based.  The “Akamba Bus” would pick us from town at around 5pm and then drop us back at around 7.30pm.  Almost 80% of the accountants working in Nairobi would have gone through this college while doing their exams.
There was no chess activity when I was in college which was a great pity.  I do remember the library had a number of chess books which is very unusual for a school.
Strathmore University has over the years become a great supporter of chess by hosting many events and taking part in the National League.  We currently have over 40 universities in Kenya and only a handful of them are active in chess.  The active ones are Kenyatta University, Technical University of Kenya and Daystar University.  I have in the past visited inter-universities chess tournament where you will find a huge pool of very strong players.  The sad thing is that there does not seem to be more inter-university events to generate the publicity that chess so desperately needs.  The last major event was the Kenya Universities Sports Association chess event held at Barclays Bank, Ruaraka, Nairobi on 18th December 2011.
Kenya Universities Sports Association event held on 20th December 2009 at Nairobi University
East African Universities Open held on 19th December 2010 with teams from Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda
Kenya Universities Sports Association event held on 18th December 2011
Kenya Universities Sports Association event held on 20th December 2009 at Nairobi University
One of Strathmore’s recent CSR initiatives held on 19thJuly 2013 was to teach chess to the inmates of Langata Prison.  I bring you some photos of this event.  The photos have been blurred to protect the identity of the inmates.
Paul Maloba of Strathmore University hands over chess sets to the inmates with Ben Magana
Teaching chess to inmates.
This year Ben Magana who has been in dazzling form this year will be the notable absentee.  Ben has opted to play in the tough Rwabushenyi Memorial Chess Championship which is running over two weekends 5th/6th December and 12th/13thDecember 2015 in Kampala.  He is the only Kenyan playing in this event.  The Rwabushenyi event is the first phase where the top 30 Ugandans will then proceed to select a team for the 2016 Olympiad.  Uganda still follow the torturous route of 3 phases to select their team.
Ben Magana (left) who seems surprised will be missing in action during this event.
Other big names who are expected to grace this event include Githinji Hinga, John Mukabi, Wachira Wachania, Ken  Omollo, Peter Gilruth & Akello Atwoli.
Githinji Hinga (left) v Akello Atwoli both who will be fighting for top honours seen here during their 14th August 2011 encounter during the AAG qualifiers
Peter Gilruth (left) & Wachira Wachania during the 2011 AAG Qualifiers at Kasarani
In the Ladies section Isabel Asiema is expected to lift the crown.  Other contenders are expected to be Riya Shah & Rose Wabuti.
Isabella Asiema in contention for Woman Champion of Kenya 2015
I have presented a list of past Kenya Champions which has been reconstructed by our “historian” John Mukabi.  You can see that there is a terrible gap between 2007 and 2012 when the event did not take place.  The last I heard from Lothar Nicolaiczuk is when he was in Indonesia, Humphrey Andolo is now based in the UK, PN Odhiambo has not been active in Kenya.

 

1991
1st?
1992
2nd?
1993
3rd Humphrey Andolo (KEN)
1994
Lothar Nicolaiczuk (GER) IM
1995
Humphrey Andolo (KEN)
1996
Philip Nicholas Odhiambo (KEN)
1997
Humphrey Andolo (KEN)
1998
Humphrey Andolo (KEN)
1999
Humphrey Andolo (KEN)
2000
NO EVENT
2001
Kenneth Ajode Omolo (KEN)
2002
?
2003
Matthew Kamau Kanegeni (KEN)
2004
?
2005
Nathan Mukaka Ateka (KEN)
2006
Benjamin (KEN)? Now CM
2007
NO EVENT
2008
NO EVENT
2009
NO EVENT
2010
NO EVENT
2011
NO EVENT
2012
NO EVENT
2013
Ben Magana- 30th Mar to 3rd April 13, KU
2014
Mehul Gohil