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Githinji Hinga wins 2021 Nairobi Open

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Githinji Hinga wins 2021 Nairobi Open

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 in action during the 2021 Nairobi Open.
Githinji Hinga in action during the 2021 Nairobi Open. Photo credit Kim Bhari.

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.

 Emmanuel Musasizi in action.
Emmanuel Musasizi in action. Photo credit Kim Bhari.

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 

George Ochieng in action and wondering if he needs to take out the fire extinguisher!
George Ochieng in action and wondering if he needs to take out the fire extinguisher! Photo credit Kim Bhari.

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

Veteran Larry Kagambi in action.
Veteran Larry Kagambi in action. Photo credit Kim Bhari.

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

Poster of the 2021 Nairobi Open.
Poster of the 2021 Nairobi Open.

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

Open – 128 Players.

Ladies – 33 Players.

Junior U8 & U10 – 38 Players.

Junior U012 & U14 – 40 Players.

Junior U16 & U18 – 22 Players.

Odibet were a part sponsor of the event.

Sadam Ali the reigning Kenya National Champion PLWD waits for his opponent.
Sadam Ali the reigning Kenya National Champion PLWD waits for his opponent. Photo credit Kim Bhari.

Mehul Gohil the reigning Kenya National Champion

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.

Mehul Gohil v Jay Naker

Jay Naker - the man who defeated Kenya National Champion Mehul Gohil in round 2.
Jay Naker – the man who defeated Kenya National Champion Mehul Gohil in round 2. Photo credit Kim Bhari.

In the final round Mehul Gohil managed to overcome a stubborn WCM Joyce Nyaruai to clinch a total of five points out of six rounds.

Mehul Gohil v WCM Joyce Nyaruai

Kenya National Champion Mehul Gohil takes on WCM Joyce Nyaruai in their round 6 encounter.
Kenya National Champion Mehul Gohil takes on WCM Joyce Nyaruai in their round 6 encounter. Photo credit Kim Bhari.

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.

Kenya's top rated player Joseph Methu.
Kenya’s top rated player Joseph Methu. Photo credit Kim Bhari.
Isaac Mudangi v Martin Njoroge

Martin Njoroge who ended up with 5.5 points and joint winner of the 2021 Nairobi Open.
Martin Njoroge who ended up with 5.5 points and joint winner of the 2021 Nairobi Open. Photo credit Kim Bhari.

Past winners of the Nairobi Open

2019 – Joseph Methu

2018 – Jackson Kamau

2016 – Mehul Gohil

2015 – Githinji Hinga

Ladies Section

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.

WCM Lucy Wanjiru, the 2019 Kenya National Champion, was joint third with the upcoming youngster, Elizabeth Cassidy, with 4.5 points. They equally shared the cash prize of KES 8,000.

13-year-old Lakshita Dutt, the top lady player from Malawi with a 1715 rating, found the going tough. She ended up with 4 points in joint 4th place and 10th in the ranking.

13-year-old Lakshita Dutt, the top lady player from Malawi in action.
13-year-old Lakshita Dutt, the top lady player from Malawi in action. Photo credit Kim Bhari.

Other Sections

Under 18 & 16 Boys Winners

1. Mutuma Kinoti – 5 points

2. Isaiah Oluoch – 5 Points

3. Ivan Wata Vidija – 4.5 Points

3. Dutt Dakshesh – 4.5 Points  

Under 18 & 16 Girls Winners

1. Amy Mumo – 2 oinPts

2. Jewel Wakio – 2 Points

3. Melly Moraa – 1.5 Points

Under 14 & 12 Boys Winners

1. Sanagavarapu Taran – 5 Points

1. Munyao Ray – 5 Points

1. Oloka Sean – 5 Points

1. Marshall Mwangi – 5 Points

Under 14 & 12 Girls Winners

1. Wadoi Melisa – 4 Points

1. Nissi Kerandi – 4 Points

1. Grace Lilly – 4 Points

Under 10 & 8 Boys Winners

1. Eli Osidiana – 5 Points

2. Curtis Reuben – 5 Points

3. Maxwell Njue – 4 Points

Under 10 & 8 Girls Winners

1. Abigael Obonyo – 5 Points

2. Nashipae Bella – 5 Points

3. Winnie Kaburo – 5 Points

Links

Standings & Results of the 2021 Nairobi Open.

Joseph Methu wins 2019 Nairobi Open.

Jackson Kamau wins 2018 Nairobi Open.

Mehul Gohil wins 2016 Nairobi Open.