We bring you an exclusive interview with Bryan Toboso the man who has decided that he wants to take on the “bad boy of Kenyan chess” Mehul Gohil aka “Gorilla“.
The match take place this weekend at Bobo’s Restaurant in South C, Nairobi. Details on this match can be found on Mehul Gohil v Bryan Toboso Match.
Tell us about your chess achievements.
I have been a long time chess player. My first tournament was in the 2005 Kenya Chess Championship, where I scored 2 out of 7. I have also been very enthusiastic about the game. I have been graduating at a slow pace among my peers with raw chess practice – a lot of games with experienced players – and slight exposure to books. This has enable me to win some prestigious events including the 6th Capablanca Cup Open Section 2016 where I was joint first with Jacob Onditi and Karoli Lwanga. The most recent accolade was winning the 2017 Makadara Open Chess Championship which had some very strong players like IM Elijah Emojong and FM Harold Wanyama from Uganda. I have also had two shots at the Final Phase of the Olympiad qualifiers.
Why do you think you will win the match
First I will say that I challenged Mehul because I felt he was very confident with his game. This match will lay bare the limits of his chess prowess. I am expecting hard, sharp lines from my opponent as he will not be toying around with this match. I have good chances of winning, though, because I have drastically improved my thinking process and nowadays when I win a hard game, I know how I did it. In most cases I win at will. I have now refined my inaccuracies in deploying attack and in cushioning oncoming attack. I have also become very good at holding lost positions. I have also encountered Mehul in tournament play various times and I know I have the capacity to crush him. In fact at the 2017 Makadara Open I defeated him in the final and crucial 6th round to win the event with a clean 6/6 points.
How are you preparing for your opponent? What do you think are his strengths and weaknesses?
I am preparing for my opponent by first of all zeroing in on my weaknesses then bolstering my strengths. Acute thought process is key. That is, systematic approach to problems. Then, clearly defining how NOT to play chess. This is done by looking at my loses, clearly understanding how I made a wrong move, and of course making sure I do not forget the lesson. I have also changed my diet for the two weeks before the match and I drink a lot of water. One strength my opponent has is exposure to strong play. One is right to use the words ‘strong’ and ‘Mehul’ in the same sentence. But his weakness is too much theory so, unorthodox jungle chess may send him sprawling to the ropes!
Do you have a special message for your opponent?
I want to tell him that I will be very unfriendly over the board!