John Mukabi wins inaugural TUK Open
John Mukabi the veteran chess player proved once again that he has every intention of boarding the plane with the Kenya Olympiad team. He emerged with 5.5/6 in the 2015 TUK Open held over the weekend of 12th & 13th March 2016.
After dropping half a point to Jasper Hawi, Mukabi faced mercurial Mehul Gohil who was leading the event with a clean 5/5 before the 6th and final round.
Mehul only needed a draw to win the event with 5.5/6. He declined two offers for a draw and lost this final crunch game which allowed Mukabi to be clear winner with 5.5/6 and win the top prize of KES 5,000 (USD 50).
The event was part of the Grand Prix system to select the team for the 2016 Chess Olympiad due to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan in September. See other story on Baku 2016 Baku Olympiad.
The event attracted a total of 48 players who played in the rated Open section and 10 players in the U14.
TUK (Technical University of Kenya), Kim Bhari (KES 2,500) and Mehul Gohil (KES 10,000) were the sponsors of the event.
CHESS-PAK were the organisers of the event and who did an excellent job. CHESS-PAK is an acronym for Chess Players of Kenya. It was set up many years ago when the previous chess officials became dormant.
Technical University of Kenya (TUK)
Technical University of Kenya (TUK) was know as Kenya Polytechnic before it became a fully fledged university a few years ago. Kenya Polytechnic used to be very active in the past and for some reason or another chess activity has declined over the years.
Well know chess player and current Assistant Secretary General Philip Singe is an alumni of the polytechnic. I have enclosed a photo from 1993 for your attention of the victorious Kenya Polytechnic team.
It is my sincere hope that this event will re-ignite the passion that TUK had for chess. Their campus which is located on Haile Selassie Avenue in Nairobi is centrally located and hence very easy for chess players to reach.