Today, the second phase of the Tromso, Norway 2014 Olympiad qualifier for men kicks off at the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in Nairobi. It will end on Sunday, where the top 10 finishers from the 28 participants will join the national champion, Ben Magana, in the last phase to be held from 30th April to 4th March.
With many players eyeing a slot on the national team, this tournament is expected to bring out the best fighting chess. It is every chess players dream to play at the Olympiad and those who make it to the final phase have their work cut out already.
In the last outing at the biennial 40th Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, Kenya was represented by Mehul Gohil, Joseph Atwoli, Martin Gateri, Githinji Hinga and Ben Magana. All remain favourites to retain their places on the team, with the exception of Mehul who withdrew from the qualifier citing citizenship technical hitches that barred 3 time former Olympian and Kenya’s coach in Turkey, Peter Gilruth from the tournament, being organized by Westlands Chess Cclub (WeCC) under the auspices of Chess Kenya (CK).
Meanwhile, Nairobi Chess Club (NCC) will host the 3rd edition of ‘Migingo Cup’ over the weekend of 8th to 9th March between Uganda and Kenya. Uganda, who have won the last 2 editions played away and home, will be represented by Arthur Ssegwanyi, FM Harold Wanyama, CM Patrick Kawuma, Chris Turyahabwe, and one more player whereas NCC will lineup Peter Gilruth, Ben Magana, Mehul Gohil, Brian Kidula and Jackson Kamau.
Quiz: Find the best move for white (GM S. Mamedyarov vs B. Gelfand, World Rapid Final, 2012).