CM Ben Magana came out of semi-retirement to win the Kenya National Chess Championship which came to an end today at the Kenya Comfort Hotels & Suites in Milimani, Nairobi.
Magana remained undefeated to end up with 7 out of 8 points in this tough 4 day contest. Jackson Kamau also ended up with 7 out of 8 points but placed second on tie break. They both equally shared the first and second prize of KES 100,000 (USD 1,000) and KES 50,000 (USD 500) respectively.
In the Ladies section WCM Joyce Nyaruai emerged victorious with an impressive 7.5 points out of 8 points to go home with KES 30,000 (USD 300).
Sasha Mongeli was second with 6.5 points and and went home with a cash prize of KES 15,000 (USD 150). In third place was 2015 Kenya Open Champion WCM Jane Wambugu with 6 points who went home with KES 7,500 (USD 75).
Mehul Gohil who was the 3rd highest ranked player and one of the clear favorite to win his second national title faced a bumpy start.
Mehul lost in round 2 to Brian Mmamta and then suffered a humiliating defeat in the hands of upcoming youngster James Kabui. in round 4. This was enough to cause the mercurial player to sensationally drop out of the event and blow his chances of making it into the Batumi Olympiad team.
The top 24 players in the Open section and 11 players in the Ladies will now proceed to the stage 2 of the Olympiad Qualifiers which is set for January 2018.