Githinji Hinga put up a splendid performance last weekend to win the 2021 Nairobi Open Chess Champion. He won the Open Section of the event with 5.5 points out of 6 rounds to claim his 2nd Nairobi Open title. In the 2016 edition he tied for joint first place with Mehul Gohil who was however declared the overall winner due to a superior tie break.
Githinji Hinga had to dig deep into his reserves to hold a stubborn Emmanuel Musasizi of Uganda to a draw in the crucial last round. Both players had five points each, and a victory by any of them would allow them to clinch the overall title.
The above draw meant that both Githinji Hinga and Emmanuel Musasizi would share the spoils with players from board two and board three.
Emmanuel Musasizi v Githinji Hinga
CM Vasanth Ramesh defeated Chege Kairu with only one second left on his clock on board two. Martin Njoroge on board three dismissed veteran Larry Kagambi.
CM Vasanth Ramesh v Kairu Chege
Githinji Hinga, Emmanuel Musasiz, CM Vasanth Ramesh, and Martin Njoroge ended up with 5.5 points to share the KES 75,000 cash prize equally. Githinji Hinga was, however, declared the overall winner due to his superior tie break.
Sarit Centre as the host
The Nairobi Chess Academy & Club have traditionally been the organisers of the Nairobi Open. However, the national federation Chess Kenya organised this year’s edition.
The event attracted a total of just over 260 players who competed in various sections. The iconic Sarit Centre was the host venue that was hosting a chess tournament for the first time. The number of players in the various sections
Mehul Gohil, the reigning Kenya National Champion, ended up in joint 2nd place with 5 points but 7th in the ranking. His dreams of winning the event went up in smoke in round two when he lost to Jay Naker in an exciting 26 move game.
Joseph Methu, Kenya’s top-rated player, found the going tough and ended up in third joint position with 4.5 points and 12th in the ranking.
Isaac Mudangi v Martin Njoroge
Past winners of the Nairobi Open
2019 – Joseph Methu
2018 – Jackson Kamau
2016 – Mehul Gohil
2015 – Githinji Hinga
Gloria Jumba the 2018 Kenya National Champion, did not disappoint her fans when she scooped the Ladies section with a clean 6 points out of 6 rounds. She went home with the top prize of KES 20,000 (USD 200).
Triza Mwenda was second with 5 points, and she earned KES 10,000.