Home Chess News A recap of the 2016 African Youth Chess Championship

A recap of the 2016 African Youth Chess Championship

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This report is a bit late but then it is important for us to record the achievements of Kenyan chess over the years.  Each event takes us a step further along our route.

The 2016 African Youth Chess Championship took place between 22nd to 28th August 2016 at the  Boardwalk Casino and Hotel, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

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Team Kenya pose for a photograph. Photo credit Ross Charnock.

A total of 275 players from 14 federations took part in this highly prestigious event.

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View of the hall. Photo credit Ross Charnock.

The annual African Youth Chess Championship has over the years proved very popular with Kenyan players and this year was no exception.  A delegation of about 50 players, parents and coaches were planning to attend the event.

The planning for this event proceeded very well with the qualifiers and the one week residential training at Alliance Girls for the kids.  All chess supporters were looking forward to a decent result and perhaps another bronze medal or even a silver medal this time.

Two days before the team was due to leave,  the bombshell was delivered – “The Ministry would not fund the team”!  This was devastating news for the kids, parents  and coaches who were looking forward to this event.

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Sunil Subramaniam (left) from Team Kenya.

In the end a much smaller team departed for the event.

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Ladies from Team Kenya. Standing from left Lydia Mwirigia (Alliance), Annette Kimwere (Loreto Matunda), Lydia Kiprop (Loreto Matunda), Joy Sidialo (Loreto Matunda). Seated Ednah Wangari Njuguna (Alliance)

Things did not improve when the team reached South Africa with reports of favouritism on the payment of the mandatory administration fees.  In the end,  we did not win any medals but two players put up a fine performance by winning two special prizes!

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Satya Iyier (left) and Dev Shah with their prizes. Proud moments for Kenya.

Sathya Iyer won a trophy for causing the biggest upset in round three – Open U18 category.  Dev Shah also won a trophy for causing the biggest upset in round six in the Open U14 category.We bring you Dev Shah’s fine win in the event which gave him the prize.