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Commonwealth Chess Championship – 2017

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The 2017 Commonwealth Chess Championship ran from 2nd to 10th July 2017 at the opulent Leela Ambience Convention Hotel New Delhi, India.

The event attracted slightly over 550 players in various categories including the Open section, U8, U10, U12, U14, U16, U18 and U20 for both Boys and Girls.

Section of the event. Photo credit Rakesh Shah.

The winner in the Open section was former World Junior Champion GM Abhijeet Gupta of India who has won this title a record 4 times (2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017).  The Women’s section was won by Swati Ghante of India.

Proud winner GM Abhijeet Gupta of India. Photo credit Delhi Chess Association.

The event had a strong field which included 16 Grandmasters, 13 International Masters, 5 Women Grandmasters and a host of other titled players.

The total cash prize was IRS 1,000,000 (approximately KES 1.4 million or USD 14,000).

Lotus Temple in Delhi. Photo credit Rakesh Shah.

This year’s edition had players from England, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri-Lanka, South African, Zambia, Uganda and Kenya.

South Africa was represented by over 50 players.

Kenya’s sole representative was the reigning U8 Kenya National Champion Drish ShahDrish ended up with 2 points in a tough section that had the top player rated at 1604 in a field of 46 players.  Drish and his twin brother Darsh are grade 4 students in Braeburn Imani which is in Thika.

Flying the Kenyan flag Drish Shah (left) in action in the U8 section. Photo credit Rakesh Shah.

The charming WFM Christine Namaganda of Uganda was the other representative from the African continent.

Christine Namaganda in action for Uganda. Photo credit Delhi Chess Association.

Christine Namaganda’s trip was made possible with the support of Swift Tours & Travel, Indian Association of Uganda, Robert Kayanja Ministries, Channel 44, Newvision, La Cedri Forex Bureau and NOSA2004.

Drish posing at the Red Fort in New Delhi. Photo credit Rakesh Shah.

Shane Kennedy from Zambia was the other participant from Africa.

Christine Namaganda takes on Rani Hamid of Bangladesh. Photo credit Delhi Chess Association.