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1996 Commonwealth Chess Championship

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Flashback to the 1996 Commonwealth Chess Championship

The Commonwealth Chess Championship is an annual event for players from Commonwealth countries.  This hotly contested event certainly attracts some of the best players.

CM Ben Magana and WCM Joyce Nyauruai represented Kenya in the 2018 edition.  The two players chosen had won the 2017 Kenya National Championship titles.

The 2018 edition which took place in Delhi, India, had just over 160 players from a dozen federations.

PN Odhiambo 1996 Kenya National Champion

Many players at the time thought that is the first time that Kenya took part in this event.  However, that honour went to PN Odhiambo who took part almost two decades ago in the 1996 edition.

Sticker for the 1996 Commonwealth Chess Championship.
Sticker for the 1996 Commonwealth Chess Championship.

PN Odhiambo won the 1996 Kenya National Championship with an impressive score of 7 points out of 8 rounds.

Four Kenya National Chess Champions in one photo! From left PN Odhiambo (1996), Humphrey Andolo ( 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999), Benjamin Magana (2006 & 2013) & Peter Gilruth (2007). Photo from the 2008 Dresden Olympiad taken by Isaac Babu
Four Kenya National Chess Champions in one photo! From left PN Odhiambo (1996), Humphrey Andolo ( 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999), Benjamin Magana (2006 & 2013) & Peter Gilruth (2007). Photo from the 2008 Dresden Olympiad taken by Isaac Babu
Extract of the 1996 Kenya National Championship standings.
Extract of the 1996 Kenya National Championship standings.

Kenya Chess Association (predecessor of Chess Kenya) sponsored PN Odhiambo for the 5th edition of the Commonwealth Championship.

Brochure cover for the 1996 Commonwealth Chess Championship.
Brochure cover for the 1996 Commonwealth Chess Championship.

The event ran from 4th to 14th December 1996 at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, in Calcutta.  West Bengal Chess Association were the organisers of the competition.

First day cover issued to commemorate the event.
First day cover issued to commemorate the event.

PN Odhiambo was Kenya’s sole representative amongst the 56 players. South Africa, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Scotland, Kenya, England and host India also had representation.

Watu Kobese of South Africa was one of the well-known participants. He scored an impressive 5 points to end up in the 28th position.

RB Ramesh, the world renown chess coach from India, was another participant. He scored 6.5 points to end up in 10th position.

Sample cartoons from the daily bulletins.
Sample cartoons from the daily bulletins.

Mithrakanth Sharma of India was the winner with 7.5 points out of 10 rounds.

PN Odhiambo scored a respectable 3.5 points. He ended up in 51st position out of 56 players.

Certificate of merit issued to PN Odiambo.
Certificate of merit issued to PN Odiambo.

Stewart Reuben of England was the Tournament Director.

Final standings

It appears that the pairing was done manually!

Final standing from 1st to 33rd position.
Final standing from 1st to 33rd position.
Final standing from 34th to 56th position.
Final standing from 34th to 56th position.

Links

Commonwealth Chess Championship website.

Kenyan Champions at the 2018 Commonwealth Chess Championship.

2017 Commonwealth Chess Championship.