Home Chess News CM Ben Magana wins 2021 Nakuru Open

CM Ben Magana wins 2021 Nakuru Open

189
SHARE

CM Ben Magana wins 2021 Nakuru Open

CM Ben Magana, aka ‘King of Chulaimbo‘, brushed aside the Covid cobwebs to win the 2021 edition of the Nakuru Open in dominating fashion with 6.5 points out of a possible 7 points.

He was undefeated, in the seven round event dropping only half a point against Joseph Methu in round 6. CM Ben Magana went home with a cash prize of KES 20,000 (or approximately USD 200)

CM Ben Magana (left) receives his trophy from Chess Kenya President Benard Wanjala. Photo credit 64 Chess Squares.
CM Ben Magana (left) receives his trophy from Chess Kenya President Benard Wanjala. Photo credit 64 Chess Squares.

Joseph Methu and James Panchol were in joint second place with 6 points each. However, Joseph Methu was ranked higher due to a better tie break. They equally shared the cash prize of KES 15,000.

Mehul Gohil, Ahmed Mowlid, Ricky Sang and Martin Njoroge were joint third with 5.5 points. Each player went home with KES 750.

The event, which was the first post-Covid event, saw just over 100 players taking part. The Open Section had 87 players, while the Ladies Section had 24 players.

Poster of the event.
Poster of the event.

The venue for the event was the grandiose Hotel Waterbuck and held over the weekend of 31st July to 1st August 2021.

The last round had an exciting finish with CM Ben Magana taking on Mehul Gohil on board 1. Both players were leading the event with 5.5 points, and a win in the final would secure the title.

The interesting thing about this game is that it followed a similar movement pattern of a game played at the 2021 World Cup between GM Sergey Karjakin and GM Sam Shankland. The position midway through the games is shown below.

CM Ben Magana v Mehul Gohil

Round 7 clash between CM Ben Magana and Mehul Gohil. Photo credit 64 Chess Squares.
Round 7 clash between CM Ben Magana and Mehul Gohil. Photo credit 64 Chess Squares.

Another interesting game from the event was the round 3 encounter between 16 year old Robert McLigeyo and CM Ben Magana.

CM Ben Magana v Robert McLigeyo

The playing hall at the 2021 Nakuru Open. Photo credit 64 Chess Squares.
The playing hall at the 2021 Nakuru Open. Photo credit 64 Chess Squares.

Sadam Ali Sheikh the reigning Kenya National Champion PLWD managed a respectable 3.5 points out of seven rounds.

A rare sighting of two national champions in one photo. Mehul Gohil the 2019 Kenya National Chess Champion and Sadam Ali Sheikh the 2019 Kenya National Chess Champion PLWD. Photo credit 64 Chess Squares.
A rare sighting of two national champions in one photo. Mehul Gohil the 2019 Kenya National Chess Champion and Sadam Ali Sheikh the 2019 Kenya National Chess Champion PLWD. Photo credit 64 Chess Squares.

Ladies Section

WCM Joyce Nyaruai won the Ladies Section with a perfect score of 7/7.  She went home with a cash prize of KES 10,000 (USD 100).

WCM Joyce Nyaruai in action during the 2021 Nakuru Open. Photo credit 64 Chess Squares.
WCM Joyce Nyaruai in action during the 2021 Nakuru Open. Photo credit 64 Chess Squares.

Glenda Madelta was a distant second with 5.5 points to earn a cash prize of KES 5,000. Triza Mwendwa, Elizabeth Cassidy and WCM Lucy Wanjiru were joint third with 5 points and equally shared a cash prize of KES 3,000.

Interesting facts about CM Ben Magana

CM Ben Magana has represented Kenya at six Olympiad events (2000, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2018).

He has won the Kenya National Championship a record three times (2006, 2013 and 2017 editions).

CM Ben Magana is the self-sponsored Western Express team captain that participates in the highly competitive Uganda National League.   The team finished in a respectable 6th position out of 39 teams in the 2019 edition.

Ben Magana defeated former World Junior Chess Champion GM Adly Ahmed of Egypt during their encounter in the 2007 African Individual Chess Championships held in Windhoek, Namibia. He was the first Kenyan ever to defeat a Grandmaster.

Caricature of CM Ben Magana.
Caricature of CM Ben Magana.

CM Ben Magana is the currently online trainer for talented children from five countries.

Past winners of the Nakuru Open

2005 – Ben Nguku

2006 – Kenneth Omolo

2007 – CM Ben Magana

2008 – Nathan Ateka

2009 – FM Steve Ouma

2010 – Ben Nguku

2016 – James Panchol

2018 – James Panchol

Interesting facts about Nakuru

Nakuru is Kenya’s 4th largest urban centre with a population of 570,674.  It is the capital of Nakuru County and is approximately about 170 km NW of Nairobi.

Nakuru means ‘Dust or Dusty Place‘ in the Maasai language.

Flamingoes in Lake Nakuru. Photo credit Wikicommons.
Flamingoes in Lake Nakuru. Photo credit Wikicommons.

Nakuru is home to Lake Nakuru, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes, which forms part of the Lake Nakuru National Park. The park has large numbers of flamingoes that can be seen foraging in the shallow lake.

Nakuru is a sister city to East Orange in New Jersey, USA.

Kenyatta Avenue in downtown Nakuru. Photo credit Wikicommons.
Kenyatta Avenue in downtown Nakuru. Photo credit Wikicommons.

The city for a long time has been a hotbed of Kenyan politics and it was home to a variety of colourful politicians including Koigi wa Wamwere and the late Kariuki Chotara.

Koigi wa Wamwere became famous for opposing both the Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi regimes, both of which sent him to detention.  He is also the author of several books including ‘I Refuse to Die: My Journey For Freedom‘.

Koigi wa Wamwere's book I Refuse to Die: My Journey For Freedom.
Koigi wa Wamwere’s book I Refuse to Die: My Journey For Freedom.

The late 1970s was a period of unrest and demonstrations by University of Nairobi students agitating for change. Kariuki Chotara learned that they were being influenced by one Karl Marx. To deal with the problem, he proposed that Karl Marx be arrested and held to prevent him from deceiving the students!

Karl Marx in 1875. Photo credit www.kiddle.co
Karl Marx in 1875. Photo credit www.kiddle.co

Links

Standing & Results of the 2021 Nakuru Open.

James Panchol wins 2018 Nakuru Open (Hotel Kunste).

James Panchol wins 2106 Nakuru Open (Rift Valley Open).

Interview with CM Ben Magana – Part 1.

Interview with CM Ben Magana – Part 2.

Interview with CM Ben Magana – Part 3.