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January 17, 2019

Olympiad qualifiers generate interest

 After Chess Kenya (CK) announced the dates for the 2nd phase 2014 Olympiad qualifiers to be held in Tromso, Norway in August, debate has been rife with many players who missed the 1st phase due to other commitments clamouring to play in the universities qualifying tournament.

CK is now faced with a herculean task of determining this, since those who didn’t qualify want a second bite of the cherry by insisting that if the former group is allowed to play, then the tournament should be open to all!

At an executive CK meeting held on Sunday 20th January, at YWCA, with club captains in attendance, the main agenda item was to confirm this year’s calendar of events and it remains to be seen what as agreed upon regarding the qualifiers.

Efforts to reach the CK chairman, Githinji Hinga, were futile for he was in Riabai Secondary School, Kiambu County, presenting a cheque of Sh86,950 scholarship award from the Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) to one of the 2 recipients from Africa.

The Kenyan student, Moses Maina is the national under-16 boys champion, and recently represented the country in the World Youth Chess Championship in Al Ain, UAE.

And in Uganda over the weekend, Kenya’s Moses Andiwoh participated in the phase 1 Oympiad qualifiers for the unrated player as a guest, and won the tournament with 5.5 points out of a possible 6 points. The 20 top finishers will be joining the elite class of the rated players in the 2nd phase to be played probably over the Easter holiday.

On the continental stage, players from respective African Chess Federations will be battling it out for the top prize of US$1,000 in the 1st African Online Blitz Tournament, the 2014 Kirsan Cup, on the FIDE Arena.

The tournament kicks off on Sunday 26th January at 1500hrs to 1900hrs, and among other prizes, there shall be $100 awarded to the top player from each participating federation. Each player will have 3 minutes with an increment of 2 seconds per move to finish the game.

At the Tata Steel Masters tournament in Wink Aan Zee, Netherlands, world number 2 Leron Aronian continues to lead with 5.5 points c;loosely followed by Anish Giri and Sergey Karjakin on 4.5 points. The tournament comes to an end on Sunday.

 The puzzle below demonstrates the power of a discovered and double attack. Can you find it?

Poll of the day