Team Kenya arrived back in the country early on Saturday morning, after a disastrous outing at the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway that took place from 1-14th August.
The men’s team finished in position 149 out of 177, dropping 19 places from their starting position, whereas the ladies team maintained their initial ranking to finish at number 118 out of 136 participating federations. China won in the open section as Russia triumphed in the women’s section.
However, our two best performing players gave us something to be proud of by earning elusive titles; Steve Ouma is now a FIDE Master (FM) and Rose Wabuti a Women FIDE Master WFM - making her the only one in Kenya, as Steve joins Martin Gateri and Ritvik Pendyala. Uganda’s Ivy Amoko also scored a first for her country by earning the WFM title and Arthur Ssegwanyi joined the elite list of Ugandan FM’s.
Focus now turns to the World Youth Chess Championship (WYCC) to be held in Durban, South Africa from September 18-30th. With barely a month to go, training needs to be in top gear if we are to avoid coming back empty handed. This competition is for boys and girls under the age of 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18, from which 12 world champions will be crowned.
Meanwhile, Nairobi Chess Club will host its 56th championship this weekend at Braeburn School, Gitanga Road. The 6 rounds open tournament will be run on accelerated Swiss system and play will start at 2pm on Saturday, August 23. Players, who made it into the team to represent Kenya during the WYCC are expected to attend this and gauge their preparedness for the big stage. For further inquiries, the tournament director, Kim Bhari can be reached on 0704179797 or 0733733092.
Puzzle: Find the best move for White (GM A. Morozevich) against Black (GM A. Grischuk) as played in the 64th Russian Chess Championship, 2011.
Solution: 1.d5 a2 2.d6 Rd7 3.Bd4 b4 4.Qxg7+ Kxg7 5.e6+ f6 6.Bxf6+ Kf8 7.exd7 wins