Home Chess News Team Kenya grab medals at the Zone 4.4 Chess Championship

Team Kenya grab medals at the Zone 4.4 Chess Championship

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Team Kenya grab medals at the Zone 4.4 Chess Championship

Team Kenya won a gold, silver and bronze in recently concluded 2024 Africa Zone 4.4 Chess Championship that just ended at Destiny Hotel in Antananarivo, Madagascar.  The tournament ran from 10th to 19th January 2024.

Former Kenya National Champion WCM Joyce Nyaruai dominated the event and finished the event with perfect score of 9/9 in Ladies Section and go home with USD 800.  Her compatriot Julie Mutisia took silver and USD 600 with 6.5  points while Tsinjoviniavo Aina Mahasambatra delivered the only medal for the host  with six points.

WCM Joyce Nyaruai receiving her prize.
WCM Joyce Nyaruai receiving her prize.

On the other hand CM Ben Magana after a disappointing outing in the recently concluded 2023 Kenya National Chess Championship grabbed a bronze medal after scoring 6.5 points out of nine rounds.

IM Fy Antenaina Rakotomaharo who is Madagascar’s top player took the gold after scoring 8 points while his compatriot Toavina Razanadrakotoarisoa took the silver medal with 6.5 points.

The event saw players from seven nations Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and host Madagascar taking part.  Team Kenya had five men and five women, making them the most significant contingent in this prestigious event.

CM Ben Magana in action at the Zone 4.4 Championship.
CM Ben Magana in action at the Zone 4.4 Championship.

It is crucial to note that Kenya is a powerhouse in the Lady’s Section of Zone 4.4.  WFM Sasha Mongeli grabbed gold in the 2022 edition in Addis Ababa, while WFM Sanjana Deshpande won a bronze in the 2017 edition in the same city.

CM Ben Magana’s bronze medal is the first medal in the Open Section for Kenya.

The focus now turns to Africa Games in which Kenya is among the 24 nations that have qualified for the competition which takes place in Accra, Ghana in March 2024.  Robert Macligeyo and WFM Sasha Mongeli have been named as the Kenyan representatives in this prestigious tournament.

Team Kenya at the Zone 4.4 Championship.
Team Kenya at the Zone 4.4 Championship.

Game Corner




Event poster.
Event poster.

Facts about Madagascar

Photo from Antananarivo. Photo credit kiddle.co.
Photo from Antananarivo. Photo credit kiddle.co.

The current population of Madagascar is now over 26.5 million.  Approximately 1.5 million people live in the capital of Antananarivo (‘Tana’). 

About 80% – 90% of Madagascar’s flora and fauna are only found on the island and nowhere else in the world!

Madagascar is the world’s fourth-largest island, after GreenlandNew Guinea, and Borneo

Madagascar’s many secluded coves, absence of European power, and freshwater made it a perfect haven for pirates between the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Pirates Cemetery at Ile Ste Marie Madagascar. Photo credit kiddle.co.
Pirates Cemetery at Ile Ste Marie Madagascar. Photo credit kiddle.co.

Madagascar is sometimes called the ‘Great Red Island‘ because of its iron and aluminium rich soils that produce brilliant red colours.

A form of bare-fisted combat called ‘moraingy‘is popular in Madagascar. The intense sport which originated in the 15th century has the shortest round duration among global fighting sports.

A form of bare-fisted combat called 'moraingy'is popular in Madagascar.
A form of bare-fisted combat called ‘moraingy’is popular in Madagascar.

The first humans to settle in Madagascar came in around 350 BCE 350 from Indonesia/Borneo, and Africans settled on the island about 500 years later. 

Queen Ranavalona III standing beside a throne table which her crown is lying on. She is wearing a beautiful royal gown which has some embroidery on it. Her hair is braided. Photo credit Wikicommons.
Queen Ranavalona III standing beside a throne table which her crown is lying on. She is wearing a beautiful royal gown which has some embroidery on it. Her hair is braided. Photo credit Wikicommons.

Queen Ranavalona III was the last sovereign of the Kingdom of Madagascar.  She ruled from July 1883 to February 1897 in a reign marked by ultimately futile efforts to resist the colonial designs of the government of France.

The official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French.

The fossa is the largest carnivorous mammal in Madagascar.  They look like a mix between a cat, a dog, and a mongoose, and they can reach 6 feet in length.

The fossa is the largest carnivorous mammal in Madagascar. Photo credits Wikicommons.
The fossa is the largest carnivorous mammal in Madagascar. Photo credits Wikicommons.

There are 101 species of lemurs in the world, all of them living only in Madagascar.

Lemurs found only in Madagascar. Photo credit Wikicommons.
Lemurs found only in Madagascar. Photo credit Wikicommons.

The colours of the flag represent Madagascar’s history and traditional peasant classes. Red and white were the colours used in the flag of the Merina Kingdom, led by Queen Ranavalona III.  Green was the colour of the Hova, the largest class of peasant commoners, who played a significant role in the independence movement.

Flag of Madagascar.
Flag of Madagascar.

Links

2023 zone 4.4 African Chess Championship on chess-results.com.

Livecloud for the Zone 4.4 games.

2022 Zone 4.4 Championship – Kenya grabs gold medal!

WFM Sanjana Deshpande wins bronze in Zone 4.2 Championship.

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Think Like a Super-GM Article by Kenya Chess Masala.