Kenya may host the Zone 4.2 Schools Team Championship in April this year if all goes according to plan. The African Chess Confederation (ACC) President Lewis Ncube, has nominated the federation to host this inaugural event on the ACC calendar, and he will be jetting into the country later in the month accompanied by the Zone 4.2 President Vianney Luggya, to compare notes with Chess Kenya (CK).
The format of this annual event shall see the zonal winners qualifying for the African Under-16 Team Championships, and the eventual continental champions shall receive travel grants to the World Youth Under 16 Chess Olympiad to be held in July this year. Each team will be made up of 3 boys and 2 girls (4 playing board members with 1 reserve), which means that a team will be obliged to feature at least one girl.
The ACC have already committed a basic support grant of Euro 10,000 and equipment to be used during the event as well as some equipment to be agreed upon as part of the prize bag. This will be in addition to the technical support during the running of the event.
CK have since submitted a draft proposal on the possible venues that shall host the event and participants, plus the personnel required in running the 9 round tournament, which shall be discussed and agreed upon during the scheduled meeting.
And last Sunday saw chess action resuming in the Kenya national chess league round 4 games that were played at KCB Sports ground, Ruaraka. Strathmore University was paired against the league’s leading team Equity Bank where they lost 0.5-4.5— only managing a draw on their board four after former Olympian Isabella Asiema of Strathmore University craftily engineered a draw against Equity Bank’s player Victor Hongo. In the other league fixture played, KCB beat Checkmates chess club 4-1 after dropping a point on board two, where Checkmates player George Nderitu beat Olympian Jackson Kamau.
The next league fixtures are set for the weekend of January 17-18 at Kenyatta University (KU) main campus along Thika road. Teams that missed their matches are expected to play their makeup matches on January 17 and 18th. Equity Bank is still leading in the standings with 18.5 points followed in by KCB team with 14 points, while in third place is Checkmates Chess Club with 6 points.
There was good news from the league committee, which announced during the week that the transfer window will be open after the sixth game of the league, where each team will be given a chance to replace one male player and one female player on respective boards. However, a player who is already playing in the league cannot transfer to another team already playing in the league; the transfer window will only accommodate new players.
And Kenya’s Moses Andiwo finished in a commendable 10th position with 5 points out of a possible 7 in the Kawuma Open in Kampala, Uganda over the weekend. IM Elijah Emojong (6.5) won the tournament as FM Harold Wanyama (6) finished in second place with CM Patrick Kawuma (6) coming in third, with another Kenyan Givan Amunga (5) finishing in fourteenth place.
Walter Okas put up a splendid performance to finish in fourth place with 6 points out of 6 games after missing the first round, to join Emojong as the only unbeaten players in the tournament! From tomorrow until Sunday, the Rwabushenyi Memorial Open will take place at the Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Kampala.
Puzzle: How did White (FM H.Wanyama) get a winning advantage against Black (FM A.Ssegwanyi) in this game played during the 2015 Kawuma Open in Kampala?