Kenya National Junior Chess Champions fly out for Africa Championship
(Report by Benard Wanjala – President of Chess Kenya Federation)
Chess Kenya has flagged off the reigning Kenya National Junior Chess Champions, Robert Macligeyo and Mercy Ingado, for continental assignment.
The two left via Qatar Airways at 1.30 am and are due to land in Algiers at 1.35 pm local time.
The Africa Junior Chess Championship 2022 will run from 12th to 20th November 2022 in Bejaia, Algeria.
The host invited two players (a boy and a girl) from each member’s country to fight for the coveted title – Africa Junior Chess Champion 2022.
The winner will earn the personal right to represent Africa in World Junior Chess Championship 2023.
PLAYER PROFILE: ROBERT McLIGEYO ORUKA, Elo 1786
He is among the fast-rising juniors locally. At 17 years of age, McLigeyo was the youngest to play in the open section for Kenya at a Chess Olympiad held in Chennai, India.
He only learnt chess in 2017 back in school. By 2018 & 2019, he was already causing problems to established players, finishing 3rd in the Kenya National Youth & Cadet Championships (KNYCCC) finals Under – 14 Boys category.
In 2018, he played his first international tournament for Kenya at the 10th African Youth Chess Championship (AYCC) Under 14 Open section scoring 50% from 9 rounds at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel in Kisumu.
In 2019, he gained 133 points in the Kenya Open to reach Elo 1520. He was to earn another 150 points during the 2019 Kenya National Chess Championship to reach Elo 1670.
In the 2020 Final Phase Olympiad Qualifiers, he scored 2 out of 9, obtaining four draws from mighty KCB team members Joseph Methu, CM Benjamin Magana, Philip Singe and Equity Bank’s Brian Adorwa.
Expectations are high for Robert to score an excellent result in the event.
PLAYER PROFILE: MERCY INGADO, Elo 1344
Mercy is the reigning U-17 Girls Africa Schools Champion, a title she won during the 2021 Africa Schools Chess Championship held in Nairobi, Kenya.
She finished second behind Erica Muturi in the 2022 Kenya National Junior Chess Championship held last month in Mombasa. She earned the chance to represent Kenya in Africa Junior when Erica Muturi opted out due to a clash with her exam calendar.
Mercy has been the national champion on several occasions and is expected to establish her place in the ladies’ national team.
Join me in wishing Mercy and Robert all the best as they fly out the national flag.
Article by Kenya Chess Masala.