Equity Bank Chess Club (EBCC) last weekend showed steely determination to defeat Nairobi Chess Club (NCC) during the ongoing 2017 Kenya National Chess League (KNCL).
The match held on 1st October 2017 was the highlight of the day where a total of 4 other matches were played at the Student’s Centre at Kenyatta University, Thika Road.
EBCC put up their ‘A’ Squad comprising to Ugandan players IM Arthur Ssegwanyi (2373) , IM Elijah Emojong (2333) on board 1 and 2 followed by FM Steve Ouma, Moses Andiwoh and Daphne Mwikali.
NCC came fully armed to dethrone EBCC and leading on board one was Kenya’s top ranked player Peter Gilruth, followed by Mehul Gohil, Vasanth Ramesh, Roberto Viluella and Rebecca Nyamahiga.
EBCC took an early lead when Daphne Mwikali defeated Rebecca Nyamahiga on board 5.
On board 3 Vasanth Ramesh was down on 4 minutes on his clock and rapidly running out of time while FM Steve Ouma had plenty. Would EBCC take this point was the question as Vasanth continued to play slowly? Fortunately the game ended in a draw when the played repeated the moves.
It was now 1.5 to 0.5 in EBCC’s favour. Board 1 saw Peter Gilruth struggle against IM Arthur Ssegwanyi who had sunk a powerful Knight on d6 which was supported by a pawn. It appeared that Arthur would win this encounter to revenge his loss against Peter in last year’s KNCL encounter.
Things on board 2 took an interesting turn when Mehul Gohil obtained a strong position against IM Elijah Emojong. Mehul had a powerful passed pawn on the 6th rank and by now both players were running low on time and a time scramble imminent. Would Mehul become the first Kenya to defeat the powerful and formidable IM Emojong on Kenyan soil?
Unfortunately NCC lost both board 1 and 2 and this left EBCC in the lead with 3.5 to 0.5.
All eyes were now on board 4 where Roberto was slowly grinding out a win against Moses. This game lasted over 4 hours and ended with Andiwoh resigning in a hopeless position to give EBCC the well deserved 2.5-1.5 win and put them in a commanding lead in the dying stages of the 2017 KNCL.
EBCC now lead the KNCL table with KCB Chess Club in 2nd position and NCC in 3rd position.