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KCB Kenya Open – Day 1

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The KCB Kenya Open Chess Championship got off to an exciting start yesterday morning.  The venue was the serene KCB Leadership Centre in Karen, Nairobi.

The playing hall.
The playing hall.

The most noteworthy result was when Austin Walela held FM Harold Wanyama of Uganda to a draw.

James Panchol of South Sudan went down in flames to top seed IM Arthur Ssegwanyi of Uganda in a 22 move game in round 2.

James Panchol of South Sudan who lost to IM Arthur Ssegwanyi of Uganda in round 2.
James Panchol of South Sudan who lost to IM Arthur Ssegwanyi of Uganda in round 2.

Mehul Gohil tried his best to overcome FM Patrick Kawuma in an exciting round 2 encounter.  This is what Mehul had to say after he lost.

“Balanced position after opening. We jockeyed in the middlegame. I offered Kawuma a draw.  He rejected.  Then he lost thread of game.  I got slight advantage. He played a positional error giving me clear advantage.  He offered a draw.  I rejected.  I got a great position.  I saw something crazy.  I went for brilliancy.  For like 10 moves it was the craziest endgame ever.  I perhaps missed the right way to pick. I went down in flames. That’s life.”

Mehul Gohil in action.
Mehul Gohil in action.

1990 Kenya National Champion Lawrence Kagambi in action.
1990 Kenya National Champion Lawrence Kagambi in action.

IM Adu Oladapo of Nigeria failed to turn up which was a big disappointment for the organisers.

John Paul Ngure wonders what went wrong?
John Paul Ngure wonders what went wrong?

Daphne Mwikali of Equity Bank in action.
Daphne Mwikali of Equity Bank in action.

The Prestige section and Challengers section have a total of 28 players and 96 players respectively.  The Ladies section has 30 players.The Junior section has a total of 71 players in the U1, 0 and U16 section.

Melanie Kung'u and Ann Kung'u proudly pose with their Lighthouse Chess Club uniforms. Lighthouse Chess Club will be entering a full ladies team in the 2018 Kenya National League.
Melanie Kung’u and Ann Kung’u proudly pose with their Lighthouse Chess Club uniforms. Lighthouse Chess Club will be entering a full ladies team in the 2018 Kenya National League.

A total of 8 top players from Uganda are taking part in this event.

Nsubuga, WFM Angolikin Goretti, Mathias Ssonko, WFM Ivy Amoko, FM Patrick Kawuma and IM Arthur Ssegwanyi. Missing from the photo are FM Harold Wanyama and IM Arthur Emojong.
Some members of the powerful Uganda team. From left FM Haruna Nsubuga, WFM Angolikin Goretti, Mathias Ssonko, WFM Ivy Amoko, FM Patrick Kawuma and IM Arthur Ssegwanyi. Missing from the photo are FM Harold Wanyama and IM Arthur Emojong.
Sometimes you just want to sleep!
Sometimes you just want to sleep!
Poster for the event.
Poster for the event.