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Kenya Open 2019 Day 1

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Kenya Open Day 1

Kenya Open 2019 the hugely anticipated event has attracted just over 120 players this year. The venue once again is the beautiful KCB Leadership Centre in Karen.

Poster of the Kenya Open 2019.
Poster of the Kenya Open 2019.

The prize fund is an impressive KES 377,000 (USD 3,800) with the winner in the Open section going home with KES 100,000 (USD 1,000). The winner in the Ladies section will collect KES 50,000 (USD 500).

FM Harold Wanyama of Uganda is the top-ranked player at 2318 and is the defending champion. FM Harold Wanyama has had a traumatic couple of months. He had to undergo brain surgery after he was attacked by robbers in January 2019.

FM Harold Wanyama in action in the Kenya Open 2019.  Photo credit Chess Kenya.
FM Harold Wanyama in action in the Kenya Open 2019. Photo credit Chess Kenya.

Peter Gilruth is the top-ranked Kenyan at 2132. CM Ben Magana and Mehul Gohil are some of the key players who are not taking part in this event.

Peter Gilruth Kenya's highest ranked player in action during the Kenya Open 2019.  Photo credit Chess Kenya.
Peter Gilruth Kenya’s highest ranked player in action during the Kenya Open 2019. Photo credit Chess Kenya.

WCM Joyce Nyaruai is the top-ranked player in the Ladies section at 1621. Gloria Jumba who is the Kenya National Champion is ranked second at 1565.

WCM Joyce Nyaruai highest ranked player in the Ladies section.  Photo credit Chess Kenya.
WCM Joyce Nyaruai highest ranked player in the Ladies section. Photo credit Chess Kenya.

Round 1

There were several upsets witnessed in round one with some heavyweights falling prey to youngsters.

Elvis Likoko outplayed his experienced opponent Jackson Ndegwa in the endgame to convert an already lost position to a win.

Timothy Mwabu, on the other hand, defeated two-time Olympian Ricky Sang to secure a full point.  Timothy Mwabu is the current Kenya National Champion U16.

Ricky Sang in shock!  Photo credit Chess Kenya.
Ricky Sang in shock! Photo credit Chess Kenya.

CM John Mukabi who is a veteran of 9 Olympiads lost to younster Robert Mcligeyo who was runners up the Kenya National Champion U16.

Robert Mcligeyo v CM John Mukabi

FM Harold Wanyama who is the defending champion lost his game against Tom Amwai on a technical issue.

Ssonko Mathias of Uganda who is the 3rd highest ranked player at 2154 was lucky to get a draw against Mark Munyi.

Mark Munyi v Mathias Ssonko

Roberto Villuela of Nairobi Chess Club clearly not happy with his position!  Photo credit Chess Kenya.
Roberto Villuela of Nairobi Chess Club clearly not happy with his position! Photo credit Chess Kenya.

Prize fund

Open section

1st KES 100,000
2nd KES 50,000
3rd KES 30,000
4th KES 25,000
5th KES 20,000
6th KES 15,000
7th KES 10,000
8th KES 7,000
9th KES 5,000

Total KES 262,000

Ladies section

1st KES 50,000
2nd KES 30,000
3rd KES 20,000
4th KES 10,000
5th KES 5,000

Total KES 115,000

Grand Total KES 377,000.

Links

Standings & Results of the 2019 Kenya Open.

FM Harold Wanyama wins 2018 Kenya Open.