CM Haruna Nsubuga of Uganda last weekend emerged clear victor with 5/6 points in the 6th edition of the Capablanca Cup that was organised by Nairobi Chess Club at the Braeburn School, Gitanga Road, Nairobi.
The event attracted a total record of 104 players who played in 4 separate sections Prestige, Open, Ladies and U14.
This was the first rated event of 2016 and was eligible to be part of the Grand Prix series to events to select a team for the forthcoming Olympiad. The prize fund was a respectable KES 70,500 (USD 700) which also included 12 glittering trophies for the top 3 winners in each section.
In 2nd place was defending champion Peter Gilruth with 5/6. Peter’s victory over Haruna was interesting as it seemed that there was some voodoo in hall. Check this out with White to play. Haruna played 32. Rc5?? and then went on to lose the game.
In the last round Peter Gilruth stumbled when he faced South Sudanese star James Madol who launched a fierce attack with the White pieces. This resulted in Gilruth resigning by move 29. How many of us have ever seen Gilruth resigning in 29 moves?
Round 1 of this event brought great excitement to the hall when Mehul Gohil “Gorilla” who had been thumping his chest before the event went crashing down to Strathmore’s Joseph Kirega in a spectacular fashion. By move 5 Mehul was a piece down and he was forced to resign by move 23 which crowned a fine performance by this young Strathmore University player.
Day 2 saw Mehul Gohil face his team mate Peter Gilruth in another highly anticipated encounter. This was an interesting game with Mehul placing his Queen on a8 on move 18 which was reminiscent of Tal v Spassky, Tiblisi, Candidates, 1965.
An interesting point about this game was that Peter Gilruth had used the game above (Tal v Spassky game) as part of the team training when he was the coach for Team Kenya that included Mehul Gohil during the 2012 Olympiad.
The Open section saw some interesting games with Dr Jacob Onditi cruising to 5/5 before being stopped by Bryan Toboso in round 6. This last round victory gave Bryan Toboso the winner’s trophy and he had to share the loot with Dr Onditi and Charles Lwanga who all had the same 5/6 points.
In the Ladies section 16 year old WCM Riya Shah who is the current National Champion cruised to a well deserved victory with a clean 6/6.
This event saw two exciting youngsters who decided to play in the Prestige section to get a feel what it feels like to take on their seniors. I was very impressed with their game and you have been warned to watch out for these two kids in the coming years!
This event was sponsored by Dr Mujahid Din (son of the late chess enthusiast Yunis Din), Aslam Adam, Terrian Chess Academy (see their fine website Terrian Chess Academy) & Braeburn School (see another story on this website Braeburn School & Chess) who provided the venue on a gratis basis.
We carried a story sometime ago on the late Mr Din on our website Chess Warrior.
Nairobi Chess Club’s next event will be the 58th Nairobi Chess Club Championship which is set for August 2016.