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Kenyan players in Russian chess festival

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Juja St Peter’s School (Juja St Peter’s School) made history by being the first school from East Africa to take part in a chess tournament in Russia.

The 49th edition of the Belaya Ladya takes place from 1st to 9th June 2018 in Dagomys, Sochi in Russia.   The event is also known as White Rook.

This year, more than 100 teams from 78 regions of Russia and 22 countries of the world will take part in the final event.

Abriana Muthoni in action. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.
Abriana Muthoni in action. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.

Countries taking part in this prestigious event include Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, England, Estonia, Greece, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Moldavia, Mongolia, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Kenya, Serbia, Sweden, and Turkmenistan.

Robert Irungu, right and Benjamin Odhiambo. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.
Robert Irungu, right and Benjamin Odhiambo. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.

Dagomys is a microdistrict of Sochi and is well known as a tourist destination and for it’s tea plantations.

The playing hall with the Kenyan flag. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.
The playing hall with the Kenyan flag. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.

Juja St Peter’s School was selected for the event when it won the Primary Schools category in the 2018 National Youth Chess Championship.  This event held in April at Kaimosi Girls High School attracted approximately 900 children from all over Kenya (2018 Kenya National Junior Chess Championship).

The team members are Benjamin Odhiambo, Robert Irungu, Joe Mesh and Abriana Muthoni.

Kyrgyzstan. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.
Players from Kyrgyzstan. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.

The team is accompanied by their coach Michael Mutua and Chess Kenya Treasurer Gilbert Wandera.

Charming player proudly wearing the Russian flag. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.
Charming player proudly wearing the Russian flag. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.

The players will be busy in the evenings with chess training by GM Evgeny Najer and GM Alexander Morozevich.

All chess tournaments have a stall. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.
All chess tournaments have a stall. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.

The organizers of Belaya Ladya are the Russian Chess Federation and Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation. The competition is also supported by Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation, Renault Russia Company, Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System (FGC UES), and PhosAgro.

Another view of the playing hall. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.
Another view of the playing hall. Photo credit Eteri Kublashvili and Vladmir Barsky.