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2018 Kenya National Youth Championship

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Extract from Wikipedia – A critical mass is the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction.

Poster for the event.
Poster for the event.

Kenyan chess last week reached it’s own critical mass during the Kenya National Youth Chess Championship held at Kaimosi Girls, Vihiga County.  The event was run from 16th to 18th March 2018.

The event attracted a record breaking 914 players surpassing the 2015 Kiambu Open which had 330 players.  This event had players across 12 regions.  These included Nairobi, Coast, North-Rift, Mt.Kenya, Kiambu, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Kisii, Eastern, Kakamega, Busia and the hosts Vihiga.

The playing hall. Photo by Eastmond Mwenda from Lighthouse Chess Club.
The playing hall. Photo by Eastmond Mwenda from Lighthouse Chess Club.

This event was probably the biggest event in East and Central Africa.  The organisers Chess Kenya can be proud of pulling off such a successful event.

The playing hall. Photo by Eastmond Mwenda from Lighthouse Chess Club.
The playing hall. Photo by Eastmond Mwenda from Lighthouse Chess Club.

The event was officially opened by the Deputy Governor of Vihiga County, H.E Dr. Partrick Saisi. In his remarks, he noted that the county will support chess right from the ward level.  He said ”We have set aside KES 1.7 million (USD 17,000) for each ward towards sports. We encourage the county chess clubs to submit their budget for support of top talent in the county, we want to support such sports in schools as a way of sharpening student’s mind.”

Deputy Governor of Vihiga County, H.E Dr. Partrick Saisi (left) playing a game against Ms Violet Oyungu the Principal of Kaimosi Girls.
Deputy Governor of Vihiga County, H.E Dr. Partrick Saisi (left) playing a game against Ms Violet Oyungu the Principal of Kaimosi Girls.

The event was organised in 12 different age  categories ranging from under 8,10,12,14,16 18 ages for both boys and girls.

The closing ceremony was graced by the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Academy of Sports (KAS), Mr Gordon Oluoch. In his remarks, he noted that his office is committed to supporting all talents right from the grass roots.

Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Academy of Sports (KAS), Mr Gordon Oluoch presents CM Odongo Lwanga his prize for the best Boys U10..
Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Academy of Sports (KAS), Mr Gordon Oluoch presents CM Odongo Lwanga his prize for the best Boys U10.

Kenya Academy of Sports sent six members of its staff to help run the  event and boosted Chess Kenya with a KES 200,000 (USD 2,000) sponsorship towards the event.

Happy prize winners. Photo by Eastmond Mwenda from Lighthouse Chess Club.
Happy prize winners. Photo by Eastmond Mwenda from Lighthouse Chess Club.

The newly crowned National Champions will represent the country in various International events including;

Africa Schools Individual Chess Championship (ASICC) in June to be held in Pretoria South Africa;

Africa Youth Chess Championship (AYCC) in August to be held in Mombasa, Kenya;

World Youth Under 14, 16, 18 to be held Halkidiki, Greece in October and World Cadets Under 8, 10, 12 to be held in Galicia, Spain in November.

St. Peter’s, Juja, the winner in the Primary category wins the trip to Sochi, Russia to represent Kenya in the International Schools Chess Team Festival to be held from 1st June 2018.

Winners in their respectively sections are shown below.  Full details can be found on 2018 Kenya National Junior Chess Championship.

Best Secondary School Boys

1. Alliance High School – 132 points

2. St. Joseph’s Boys Kitale – 61 points

3. St. Patrick’s Boys Iten – 59 points

Best Secondary School Girls

  1. Singore Girls – 91 points
  2. Alliance Girls High School – 63 points
  3. Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls – 63 points

Best Primary School

  1. St. Peter’s Juja – 282 points
  2. Membley Titans – 168 points
  3. Makini School Nairobi – 140 points
  4. Logos Christian School – 123 points
  5. SOM Academy – 118 points

Best Region

  1. Nairobi – 812 points
  2. Mt. Kenya – 490 points
  3. Kiambu – 441 points

Points are based on most points for players ranked between positions 1-20.