The buzz in Kenyan chess moves a notch higher this Easter weekend.
KCB Bank have unveiled an a massive sponsorship package for the KCB Kenya Open. The prize fund for this event is a mouth water KES 408,000 (USD 4,000). The winner in the Prestige section will go home with KES 100,000 (USD 1,000).
KCB’s involvement in chess has grown significantly over the past two years. They were the key sponsors to the Kenya team to the 2016 Baku Olympiad. They have in addition hosted the 2017 Kenya National League.
The event will be held at the KCB Leadership Centre in Karen from 30th March to 2nd April 2018.
The field boasts of 4 players rated above 2300. These include IM Arthur Ssegwanyi (2374), FM Patrick Kawuma (2339), FM Harold Wanyama (2314) all of Uganda and IM Adu Oladapo of Nigeria (2304).
CM Ben Magana (2121), Mehul Gohil (1999) and Joseph Methu (1984) will be carrying Kenya’s hopes in this event.
A total of over 120 players are expected to take part in this tournament which has 4 sections. Players will compete in the Prestige, Open, Ladies and Junior section.
Favourite to win the event is FM Patrick Kawuma. FM Kawuma has had a string of victories over the past 6 months. These include winning the Uganda Open & the Rwabushenyi Open held in November & December 2017. Patrick was also the winner of the tough Kawuma Open held in early March 2018.
The dark horse of the event will be IM Adu Oladapo of Nigeria. Adu is the 1995 Nigerian Chess Champion. His impressive credentials include representing Nigeria in two Olympiads and qualifying for the 2015 World Cup.