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Day 2 at the 2024 Team Qualifiers Final Phase – The Gorilla Odyssey

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Day 2 at the 2024 Team Qualifiers Final Phase – The Gorilla Odyssey

A frontline report by Mehul Gohil

My play over the first weekend of the 2024 Team Qualifiers Final Phase can be summed up as follows:  Playing well but lacking stamina and precision at the ‘4th hour’ and lacking objectivity by taking unnecessary risks.

My 3rd game vs Demio owner and fellow National Champ Martin Njoroge: Out prepared him in the opening.  Got a small but nagging positional bind that lasted into the endgame. Then I got caught up in my own fantasies of the position and complicated things.

At the last critical moment I lost objectivity, disdained the draw, went in for a K+P endgame, completely miscalculated it, and went down in flames.  I will have to do some work on the K+P endgames as my judgement has been off. I probably botched a 4th national title by going into such an endgame vs Andiwoh (draw).

2024 Team Qualifiers
2021 Kenya National Chess Champion Martin Njoroge against 2019/22 Kenya National Chess Champion Mehul Gohil. Photo credit Kim Bhari.

After that loss, my situation in the points standing was dire. I was in a must win against former two time Kenya National Champion Ken Omollo.

I finally managed to compose my nerves and played a good game and maintained good self control in the complications (Ken, desperate for his first win threw the kitchen sink at me). Basically, I destroyed Omolo.

So, at least I remain in contention for a slot going into the second weekend.

Glad to have some days to repair some psychological and chess problems.

2024 Team Qualifiers
The playing hall. Photo credit Kim Bhari.

Link

2024 Final Phase Olympiad Selection Tournament on chess-results.com.

Joseph Methu & WFM Sasha Mongeli crowned 2023 Kenya Champions.

2023 Kenya National Chess Championship – A sneak preview.

Final day report on the 2021 Kenya National Chess Championship by Mehul Gohil.

Day 4 report on the 2021 Kenya National Chess Championship by Mehul Gohil.

Report on Day 3 of the 2021 Kenya National Chess Championship by Mehul Gohil.

Day 2 Report on the 2021 Kenya National Chess Championship by Mehul Gohil.

Interview with Mehul Gohil aka ‘Gorilla’ in September 2020.

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