The Kenya Olympiad Team has been chosen for the upcoming Chess Olympiad, which will take place in Moscow, Russia’s capital city, from 26th July to 8th August 2022.
The gruelling selection process culminated in the Final 3rd Phase at the KCB Sports Club, Ruaraka. The Final Phase had 11 players slugging it out over the weekends of 28th-30th January and 4th-6th February 2022.
The final team for the Open section is an interesting one made up of veterans led by CM Ben Magana, Ben Nguku and Githinji Hinga. The other two members are upcoming youngsters Martin Njoroge and 17-year-old Robert Mcligeyo, making their maiden Olympiad appearance.
Githinji Hinga v Robert Mcligeyo
One of the final phase surprises was when Jackson Kamau, a top player and veteran of the 2014 Olympiad team, failed to make it. He ended up with 4 points and 9th in the ranking.
The following game is reminiscent from the Paul Morphy era!
Jackson Kamau v Robert Mcligeyo
Githinji Hinga va Ben Nguku
CM Ben Magana was the overall winner with 8 points out of the 11 rounds. He was undefeated with 7 wins and 4 draws.
This was an interesting game which should have ended in a draw but see what happens!
Ben Nguku v Isaak Mukoko
This is what Ben Nguku had to say about the game.
‘In the end I was trying to win a dead drawn position and just moved my queen from a square that was preventing mate … Mukoko mated me and I stayed at the board for 10 minutes in disbelief !! Was a sea-saw game with each of us being significantly up at different times of the game .. he had the first decisive advanced and should have wrapped this up earlier , I got my chance and misplayed the advantage , draw would have been a fair result but I decide to push and paid for it’
This section ended dramatically as WCM Joyce Nyaruai and WFM Mongeli Sasha qualified directly, leaving four players in third place.
Mutisya Jully, Madelta Glenda, Nicole Albright, and Obando Cynthia Awino were the four players who tied for third place.
Madelta Glenda and Mutisya Jully qualified for the team after a single round-robin event for the four players.
Madelta Glenda v Triza Mwendwa
Nicole Albright and Cynthia Obando Awino tied for joint 3rd place. The tie for 3rd place necessitated a two-round match with a time control of 5 mins + 3 sec between these two tied contestants. The two-round match ended in a draw. Cynthia, however, prevailed in the sudden death (Armageddon) to grab the final slot.
The following will make up the Kenya National Chess Team from the Ladies section