The 2015 Kenya National Championship got off to a fine start yesterday morning at the Strathmore University, Madaraka Campus. A total of 70 players in the Open section and 14 ladies in the Ladies section are taking part.
Notable players missing from this event include Ben Magana, Githinji Hinga, Rose Wabuti and Sanjana Deshpande.
The 5 floor Students Centre was bustling with activity with hundreds of students, studying, eating, chatting or doing their homework. The Student Centre is really the hub of Strathmore University and is forever busy.
The Student Centres hosts a bank, eating places, hairdresser, photo shop, book shop etc. The top floor hosts the @iLabAfrica which is an IT centre for excellence and been sponsored by various IT & mobile phone operators & companies.
Chess was being played on the 1st floor and occupied about half the floor. As expected the place was noisy but this did not affect the players who each seemed to be in a trance of sorts.
Notable results from this event include Martin Oyamo holding fancied Peter Gilruth to a bitter draw in round 3 and Terence Chazima holding national champion prospect Akello Atwoli to a draw in round 1. In round 3 veteran John Mukabi was defeated by Vincent Ngeno. Another title contender Ken Omollo was beaten by fast upcoming George Ochieng in round 2.
|Billy Chepkonga (left)|
|Contender for the Crown? Akello Atwoli|
|James Madol Pacnhol|
|The lower boards|
At the end of day 1 only 4 player remained with top scores and included Mehul Gohil who was scheduled to George Ochieng and Vincent Ngeno who was playing Jackson Kamau.
In the Ladies section both Riya Shah and Isabel Asiema are with maximum points and are scheduled to meet each other in round 4.
|Age does not matter|
|Riya Shah in serious contention for the title.|
|Joyce Nyaruai not having a good tournament with on one win on day 1.|
This event demands not just chess strength but great stamina due to the tough 3 day games a day on both day 1 and 2.