Home Chess News GM Gareyev & WGM Heinemann triumph in 2023 Kenya Open

GM Gareyev & WGM Heinemann triumph in 2023 Kenya Open

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GM Gareyev & WGM Heinemann triumph in 2023 Kenya Open

GM Gareyev & WGM Heinemann were the winners of the 2023 Kenya Open in the open and ladies’ sections, respectively.

The event saw just over four hundred players from twenty federations competing for a whopping USD 42,000 prize fund.

GM Timur Gareyev & WGM Josefine Heinemann
GM Timur Gareyev & WGM Josefine Heinemann

Open Section

GM Timur Gareyev won the open section with an impressive 8.5 points out of the nine rounds to go home with a cash prize of KES 1,000,000 (USD 7,600). He was in devastating form, conceding only a draw to GM Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan in their encounter in round seven.

His last and final game against GM Nikita Meshkovs of Latvia was thrilling, with player trading blows with only a couple of minutes on the clock. Ultimately, GM Gareyev calmed his nerves to dismiss his opponent and grab the first prize.

GM Eltaj Safarli was second with 7.5 points and took home KES 750,000 (USD 5,800).

GM Timur Gareyev in the last and final game against GM Nikita Meshkovs
GM Timur Gareyev in the last and final game against GM Nikita Meshkovs.

In this game we see GM Eltaj Safaril of Azerbaijan weaving a mating net in his game against IM Arthur Ssegwanyi of Uganda.

 

Kenyan players

CM Ben Magana was the top Kenyan player, scoring seven points to end up 17th in the ranking. Brian Irungu was also impressive, with seven points to rank at number eighteen.

Other fascinating encounters included the young Kenyan star Jamie Obora who crushed FM Harold Wanyama in their round three game.

Jamie Obora in blue jacket in his game against FM Harold Wanyama in a game that he won.
Jamie Obora in blue jacket in his game against FM Harold Wanyama in a game that he won.

2021 Kenya National Chess Champion Martin Njoroge in action.
2021 Kenya National Chess Champion Martin Njoroge in action.

Mehul Gohil (1986) the 2022 Kenya National Champion held IM Gillan Bwalya (2405) of Zambia to a draw in round seven.

Another shock in round four was Kenyan former National Champion Matthew Kanegeni (1976) holding GM Sriram Jha (2310) of India to a draw.

Other African players

FM Harold Wanyama did not disappoint his fans with an impressive score of 7.5 points to end up in joint third place with IM Aditya Samant of India and GM Pavel Ponkratov of Russia.

Other impressive results from African players included IM Prince Daniel Mulega, IM Andrew Kayonde, Kiddy Makwaya and Willian Kolomwe, all from Zambia, who obtained seven points each.

GM Adham Fawzy of Egypt also obtained seven points, like his compatriot GM Hesham Abedlrahman.

IM Jan Karsten of South Africa, the reigning Africa Junior Champion, scored seven points to end in joint fourth place and 13th in the ranking.

GM Fawzy Adham of Egypt.
GM Fawzy Adham of Egypt.
Samuel Adewole Adeyinka from Nigeria.
Samuel Adewole Adeyinka from Nigeria.

Ladies’ Section

WGM Josefine Heinemann of Germany won the Ladies’ Section with a perfect score of nine points out of nine rounds. She took home KES 500,000 (USD 3,800) plus a trophy.

WGM Shrook Wafa and her sister, WGM Shahenda Wafa of Egypt, were in second place with 7.5 points each. Shrook went home with KES 312,500, while Shahenda won KES 237,500.

WGM Josefine Heinmann of Germany on her way to victory in the Ladies' section.
WGM Josefine Heinmann of Germany on her way to victory in the Ladies’ section.

WCM Joyce Nyaruai was the top Kenyan with seven points, winning KES 112,500 for her efforts. Peninah Nakabo was the top Ugandan with seven points and took home KES 137,500.

The Ladies’ Section had a total of just over 90 participants.

The most exciting encounter was in round four when WCM Joyce Nyaruai squandered her superior position against the almost unbeatable WGM Josefine Heinemann.

WCM Joyce Nyaruai (left) playing against Cynthia Obondo.
WCM Joyce Nyaruai (left) playing against Cynthia Obondo.

Milicent Awour

The 2023 Kenya Open was the most glamorous and lucrative event in the African chess calendar. The event, however, received intense worldwide media coverage with the story of a certain Milicent Awour playing in the Ladies’ Section.

Millicent Awuor registered in the Ladies’ Section, appeared to be another religious player dressed in a niqab. She only raised suspicion after he easily defeated former Kenya Women’s National Chess Champion Gloria Jumba (rated 1487) and one of Uganda’s top lady player Ampaira Shakira (1702).

He later admitted to being a male after the tournament arbiters interrogated him in a private room!

The player Stanley Omondi will now face disciplinary proceedings with the Chess Kenya Federation.

Shakira Ampaire of Uganda against “Millicent Awuor“ Photo credit Chess Kenya.
Shakira Ampaire of Uganda against “Millicent Awuor“
Photo credit Chess Kenya.

Event sponsors

Safaricom PLC was the event’s connectivity partner with a total value of KES 1 million (5G internet connectivity and airtime worth KES 105,000).

It allowed the event to be streamed live across social media platforms and games played on DGT boards to be followed globally.

KCB Group boosted the prize fund with a cash sponsorship of KES 500,000.

Kenya Academy of Sports – They provided the chess sets for the tournament.

Links

2023 Kenya Open on chess-results.com.

The 2023 Kenya Open gets underway.

Triza Mwendwa & FM Harold Wanyama win 2022 Kenya Open.

2022 Kenya Open Day 1 Report.

2022 Kenya Open Day 2 Report.

2022 Kenya Open Day 3 Report.

2022 Kenya Open Day 4 Report.

Aluta Continua on the 2022 Kenya Open by Mehul Gohil.

Joseph Methu wins 2019 Kenya Open.

FM Harold Wanyama wins 2018 Kenya Open.

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Article by Kenya Chess Masala.