Home Chess News Ben Nguku is the 2016 Kenya Open winner

Ben Nguku is the 2016 Kenya Open winner

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Former Olympian chess player Ben Nguku came back from semi-retirement to clinch the 2016 Kenya Open which came to an exciting end yesterday at the Stima Club, Nairobi.

Ben Nguku (left) receives his trophy from CEO of Terrian Chess Academy Brian Kidula.
Ben Nguku (left) receives his trophy from CEO of Terrian Chess Academy Brian Kidula.

Ben Nguku ended up with 7/8 the same as Mehul Gohil but he emerged as a winner on tie break.  Both shared equally the first and second prize KES 30,000 (USD 300) & KES 20,000 (USD 200).  Peter Gilruth & James Panchol ended up in fourth position with 6.5/8 to each earn KES 7,500 (USD 75).

Ben Nguku had a bumpy start on round 1 when he drew his first game against unrated Duncan Apiyo.

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Ben Nguku holds his head in agony when he he realised that he has allowed Duncan Apiyo to force a perpetual check even though Ben has 2 pawns on the 7th rank and in a clearly winning position. This was in round 1 while Vasanth Ramesh looks on.

A total of almost 80 players took part in the Open section and 18 in the Ladies section.  The winner in the Ladies section was another Olympian WCM Jane Wambugu who obtained 7.5/8 to emerge clear winner by 2 points and go home with KES 15,000 (KES 150).  In second place was WCM Riya Shah and in 3rd place was Joyce Nyaruai with 5.5 points.

Jane Wambugu is on top of the world!
Jane Wambugu is on top of the world!

The event which was sponsored by Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa started on Easter Friday at the KCB Sports Club.  The second day was at the same venue but on the 3rd day the venue was moved next door to Stima Club.

We bring you one exciting game where 14 year Timothy Mwabu almost caused a major upset when he had Peter Gilruth on the ropes.  Here is that exciting game.  This lad will most likely be in the 2018 or 2020 Olympiad team.

Fast rising talent Timothy Mwabu in action
Fast rising talent Timothy Mwabu in action

The tournament organisers had a tough final day at Stima Club when the management was called by someone to state that the Kenya Open was an illegal event.  This was probably the most unfortunate incident and just marks another sad chapter on the ongoing saga with the previous office holders who were voted out last Sunday.  See story on Kenya Open Day 1 which gives a bit more background on the story.

Part of the crowd at the 2016 Kenya Open at KCB Club.
Part of the crowd at the 2016 Kenya Open at KCB Club.

The 2016 Kenya Open was part of the Grand Prix circuit to select the team for the Olympiad which will be held later in the year in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Happy winners. From left Timothy Milton, Ben Nguku, Jane Wambugu & Mehul Gohil.
Happy winners. From left Timothy Milton, Ben Nguku, Jane Wambugu & Mehul Gohil.

Players were delighted that Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa came out to support another event in Kenya.  The question on everyone’s mind was will there be a Millionaire Chess event in Nairobi later in the year?  Many will recall that Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa’s first event  in Kenya was the fantastic Millionaire Chess event held last April at the iconic Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi.  You can read more on this story on the following links.

Millionaire Chess Nairobi Edition Day 1,

Millionaire Chess Nairobi Edition Day 2,

Millionaire Chess Nairobi Edition Day 4,

Harold Wanyama wins Millionaire Chess Nairobi Edition

CM Wachira Wachania who ended up with 5 points and ended up in 14th position.
CM Wachira Wachania who ended up with 5 points and ended up in 14th position.

We do sincerely hope that the all the unnecessary drama that is now playing out in Kenyan chess gets resolved swiftly.  We really have no time to waste on wrangles which only hurts us in the long run.

Collins Young who is an official of the ChessPAK (Chess Players of Association of Kenya) has confirmed they will organise the next Grand Prix event in April just before the deadline of 1st May 2016.

Extract of the final ranking for the Kenya Open
Extract of the final ranking for the Kenya Open
Extract of the Kenya Open Ladies section.
Extract of the Kenya Open Ladies section.