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January 17, 2019

Kisumu all set to host Scottish Tartan Open tourney over weekend

Action switches to Kisumu County this weekend for the Scottish Tartan (Hotel) Open chess tournament, with a prize-fund kitty of Sh140,000. Organised by the Kisumu County Chess Group (KCCG), with technical support from Chess Kenya (CK), it has attracted participants from across East Africa and promises to be the largest chess gathering in western Kenya in almost a decade.

Sponsored by the hotel’s owner and managing director, Mr. William McTough, this inaugural event will be held annually, according to the tournament organiser and also secretary general of KCCG, Andrew Owili. “Our sponsor and Patron, Mr. McTough has put in a lot of his personal resources in promoting chess in Kisumu County. We desire to shift chess to other parts of Kenya and not just being concentrated in Nairobi as has been the case.”

With some members of Uganda’s Olympiad national teams—both men and ladies—participating, it promises to be a tough outing. Running concurrently with the open category will be the institutions of learning section, which will pit schools against universities.

In the Candidates tournament concluded on Sunday in Kanty Mansisyk, Russia, India’s Viswanathan Anand, the immediate former 5-time world champion, earned himself another shot at the title in November after winning the event ahead of pre-tournament favourites, Armenian Levon Aronian and Russia’s Vladmir Kramnik.

In a rematch reminiscent of last year’s challenge, he will face off with Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen, and pundits expect the Chennai Tiger, or Vishy, to put up a spirited fight, unlike when he lost his title.

Puzzle: Find the best move for black (GM Magnus Carlsen against white (GM Vladmir Kramnik) in the 20th Amber Rapid, 2011.

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