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Kenya’s Chess Olympiad Team Selected

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Kenya’s Chess Olympiad Team were finally selected two weeks ago at the KCB Sports Club, Ruaraka. The top five out of 11 players in the 3rd phase of each section were selected to be part of the national team.  They will represent Kenya at the World Chess Olympiad to be held in Batumi, Georgia in September from 21st September to 7th October 2018. The team members are;

OpenTeam 
Joseph Methu
Dr. Victor Ng’ani
Ben Magana
Ricky Sang – Captain
Philip Singe

Ladies Team
Joyce Nyaruai – Captain
Sasha Mongeli
Gwen Jumba
Daphne Mwikali
Lucy Wanjiru

FM, FI Steve Ouma and NI Moses Andiwoh were named the coaches for respective team during the closing ceremony.

Intense action. From left - FM Steve Ouma (in red jacket), Githinji Hinga (blue shirt), Victor Ng'ani (white shirt) and Philip Singe.
Intense action. From left – FM Steve Ouma (in red jacket), Githinji Hinga (blue shirt), Victor Ng’ani (white shirt) and Philip Singe.

John Mukabi will be the Head of the Delegation. He will be responsible to ensure team is registered and necessary traveling documents including the visas are processed in good time.

The closing ceremony was graced by Chess Kenya Chairman Benard Wanjala and Douglas Ratemo – Director, Kenya Academy of Sports.   Mr Ratemo in his remarks noted that his institution will continue to support chess and to nurture grassroots talents in the game.

Ricky Sang (left) with the black pieces against FM Steve Ouma.
Ricky Sang (left) with the black pieces against FM Steve Ouma.

Benard Wanjala also thanked KCB Chess Club let by Isaac Babu for hosting the 2nd and the final phase of the Olympiad qualifiers.

We have an exciting game between Githinji Hinga and CM Ben Magana.

Joseph Methu, Ricky Sang, Dr Ng’aniSasha Mongeli, Daphne Mwikali and  Lucy Wanjiru will be making their maiden appearance in the Olympiad.

The first stage to selected the team commenced with the 2017 Kenya National Chess Championship which was held in December 2017.  The top 24 from this phase played in the second phase to select the top 10 who were joined by the Kenya National Champion.

In this case it was CM Ben Magana in the Open section and WCM Joyce Nyaruai in the Ladies section.

The 3rd phases consisted of a single round robin to select the top 5 players.  The Open section was marred by 6 walkovers in the last 2 rounds which caused major disruptions in the final ranking.

Cross table for the Open section
Cross table for the Open section
Cross table for the Open section
Cross table for the Ladies section