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A review of Kenyan chess in 2016

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A review of Kenyan chess in 2016

It is the time of the year where I do a summary of what has happened in Kenyan chess in 2016.

If I had to chose one word to describe 2016 what would that word be?  That word would be “tumultuous“.

On one hand we had the difficulty of dealing with the squabbles of Chess Kenya and the failure of the Men’s Team to travel for the Baku Olympiad.  The highly anticipated 2016 Kenya National League also failed to start.

On the other hand Kenyan chess players and organisers displayed great enthusiasm and energy to have one of the most active chess scene in in this part of the world.

I have listed over 40 chess tournaments that have taken place this year in Kenya.  This makes 2016 the most active year in living memory.  Never have so many pawns being pushed in Kenya!

Apart from the numerous chess tournament there have been a number of other important activities that have taken place.

IGM Georg Mohr from Slovenia visited Kenya to conduct a training clinic where a number of chess trainers obtained the valuable and critical FIDE certification.  His visit was sponsored by FIDE and supported by the Confederation of African Chess.

IGM Georg Mohr of Slovenia plays in a simultaneous during his visit to Kenya.

The story could not be complete without mentioning GM Maurice Ashley visit to Kenya during the 2016 Millionaire Chess Nairobi Edition.  His trip was sponsored by Kasparov Chess Foundation.

Chairman of Nairobi Gymkhana Arun Jain presents a gift to GM Maurice Ashley.

Kenyan arbiters who carried the Kenyan flag high was IA Duke Micheka who arbitrated during the Rwanda Open  and the African School Chess Championship.

The other arbiter who was globe trotting included IA Paras Gudka who arbitrated during the 2016 African Individual Chess Championship from 17th to 24th July in Kampala, Uganda  and the Africa Junior Chess Championship held in Tunisia, from 25th November to 4th December He was also present as an arbiter at the Zone 4.3 Chess Championship held in Mauritius from 23rd April to 2nd May 2016  .

IA Paras Gudka is currently abitrating at the IIFL Wealth & Asset Management which is being held in Mumbai, India from 25th December 2016 to 4th January 2017

Paras Gudka crossing Africa carrying the Kenyan flag.

Kenyan chess players who have made their mark in 2016 include;

WFM Riya Shah who published a book titled Chess for Great Minds.

WFM Riya Shah in action.

Aditya Shah who was the first blind player in Kenya to play a Grandmaster at the Millionaire Open.

Aditya Shah (left) makes his move in his Braille board while Chess Kenya Chairman Githinji Hinga watches.

Timothy Mwabu – who almost caused a major upset during the 2016 when he had veteran player Peter Gilruth on the ropes.  The story can be found here.

Rising start Timothy Mwabu in action.

WFM Joyce Nyaruai who scored an impressive 6.5/7 in the Baku Olympiad and a perfect 7/7 during the East African University Games.

WFM Joyce Nyaruai at the Baku Olympiad with an impressive 6.5/7 points.

WCM Krishi Shah won a gold medal at the 2016 African School Chess Championship which was held in Lusaka, Zambia from 11th to 17th December 2016.

WFM Krishi Shah on her way to gold at the 2016 African Schools Chess Championship.

Brian Kidula who imported 5 DGT Chess Boards which enabled chess enthusiasts to follow some of our local events on the internet.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/06/brian-kidula-a-kenyan-hero.html

Another milestone in Kenyan chess was the movie “Queen of Katwe” which hit the big screens in October.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/10/gorilla-goes-to-the-movies-queen-of-katwe.html and http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/11/queen-katwe-brings-smile-hundreds-children.html.

Events held in 2016 include the following;

30th January – Le Pelley Cup.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/01/steve-ouma-wins-inaugural-peter-le-pelly-cup-in-grand-style.html

21st-22nd February – 5th Capablanca Cup.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/02/cm-haruna-nsubuga-of-uganda-wins-6th-capablanca-cup.html

5th March – Kenya National Youth Championship Rift Valley edition.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/03/2016-kenya-national-youth-chess-championship-rift-valley.html

6th March – Oshwal Youth Chess Championship.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/03/savan-haria-wins-oshwal-youth-league-chess-tournament.html

8th March – Kenya University Students Association Chess Tournament.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/03/university-of-nairobi-scoops-top-prize-in-kusa-games.html

12th-13th March – TUK Open Chess Tournament.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/03/veteran-john-mukabi-wins-inaugural-tuk-open.html

25th-27th March – Kenya Open.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/03/ben-nguku-is-the-2016-kenya-open-winner.html

27th March SNVM Chess Festival.  http://www.motochessv.com/news/snvm-hosts-successful-easter-chess-tournament/

15th April Giraffe Open.  http://www.motochessv.com/news/giraffe-ark-nyeri-officially-opened-with-chess-events/

17th April – KAM Open. http://www.motochessv.com/news/peter-gilruth-wins-inaugural-kam-40-chess-championship/ and  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/04/kam-pharmacy-senior-40-rapid-chess-championship.html

7th-8th May – Nairobi Open.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/05/mehul-gohil-wins-the-2016-nairobi-open.html

28th May – Fouress Technology.  http://www.motochessv.com/news/fouress-technologies-junior-rapid-chess-championship-attracts-100-players/

29th May – Terrian Academy Invitational Chess Tournament.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/06/brian-kidula-a-kenyan-hero.html

11th, 12th, 17, 18th, 19th June – Olympiad Qualifiers.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/06/2016-baku-olympiad-selection-tournament.html

26th June – Hindu Council of Kenya Open.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/07/hindu-council-of-kenya-chess-tournament.html

9th-10th July – Millionaire Chess Nairobi edition.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/07/cm-wachira-wachania-is-the-winner-of-the-2016-millionaire-chess-nairobi-edition.html

30th July – Mukuru School Chess Tournament.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/08/mukuru-chess-championship.html

14th August – Ongata Rongai Open.   http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/08/ongata-rongai-chess-club-hosts-its-maiden-event.html

20th-21st August – 58th Nairobi Chess Club Championship.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/08/peter-gilruth-wins-the-58th-nairobi-chess-club-championship.html.

24th September – Faith Ventures.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/09/2nd-faith-ventures-junior-open-chess-championship-2016.html

24th-25th September – Daystar University Open.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/09/githinji-hinga-wins-daystar-university-chess-open.html

1st-2nd October – 2016 Nairobi Chess Club Closed Championship.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/10/peter-gilruth-wins-the-2016-nairobi-chess-club-closed-championship.html

20th-23rd October – Mombasa Open.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/10/im-elijah-emojong-wins-2016-mombasa-open.html

26th November – Nairobi Gymkhana Open.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/11/2nd-nairobi-gymkhana-junior-chess-championship.html

26th-27th November – Rift Valley Open.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/11/james-panchol-wins-rift-valley-open-chess-championship.html

10th-12th December – Equity Bank Open. http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/12/fm-haruna-nsubuga-lifts-inaugural-equity-bank-open-title.html

16th-21st December – East African University Games. http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/12/10th-east-african-university-games-2016.html

26th December – Utawala Chess Rapid & Blitz Tournament which was organised by upcoming poet and chess enthusiast Tom Amwai.

International chess tournaments where Kenyans played include;

27th December 2015 to 6th January 2016 – African Junior Chess Championship held in Seychelles.  Moses Maina and WFM Joyce Nyaruai both played in this event.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/01/2015-african-junior-chess-championship-22-2.html

27th January – 6th February – IIFL Private Wealth in Mumbia, India in which Vihaan Kumar Sheth played.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/02/the-worlds-richest-junior-chess-tournament.html

29th January – 1st February Rwanda Open held in Kigali in which CM Ben Magana was joint winner.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/02/kenyas-cm-ben-magana-joint-winner-of-2016-rwanda-open.html

22nd-28th August – African Youth Chess Championship held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/10/recap-2016-african-youth-chess-championship.html

August – Las Vegas Nationals in which Peter Gilruth played.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/11/peter-gilruth-trip-las-vegas.html

1st-14th September – Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan in which the Kenya Ladies team played from Round 5.  They ended up in 114th place out of 140 teams.  The team was incomplete and had only 4 players instead of 5 players.  The team was made up of WFM Joyce Nyaruai, WCM Purity Maina, WCM Gwen Jumba and WCM Jane Wambugu.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/09/2016-baku-olympiad-opening-ceremony.html

11th-13th November – Tanzania Open held in Dar es Salaam and attended by Githinji Hinga and David Byoga.  http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/11/im-arthur-ssegwanyi-2016-tanzania-open-winner.html

11th-17th December – African Schools Chess Championship.  Kenya won 1 gold medal, 1 sliver and 3 bronze medals. http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2016/12/kenya-scoops-medals-african-schools-individual-chess-championship.html.