CM Ben Magana beat a field of 79 players to successfully defend his title as the Scottish Open chess tournament. The 6 round FIDE rated 2nd edition of the event was played at the Scottish Tartan Hotel in Kisumu over the weekend.
Going into the last round, Magana, FM Steve Ouma and CM Haruna of Uganda all needed to win their last games to be guaranteed of clinching the coveted winner’s trophy. Magana squeezed past Uganda’s CM Haruna Nsubuga on tie-break after beating Ouma to be declared the winner for the second year in a row since the tournament’s inauguration last year.
The two, however, split the combined 1st and 2nd prize equally to each walk away with Sh25,000 having amassed 5.5/6 points apiece, having drawn against each other in the penultimate round. In third place was Equity’s veteran player CM John Mukabi, followed by Phillip Singe, Ricky Sand and Uganda’s Daniel Baagadde, who all garnered 5 points to complete the prize bracket. They each took home Sh2,500, proving how unforgiving chess can be if one fails to score a full point. National champion WFM Rose Wabuti was the winner in the ladies section with 4 points and was awarded a cash prize of Sh15,000 after a string of impressive performances. She was followed by the Equity duo of Sanjana Deshpande and Gweyani Jumba on 3.5 points each. They also took home Sh7,500 each.
In the challengers section, Dismas Oketch emulated Magana by retaining his title with 4.5 points thus winning himself Sh5,000, as the tournament organizer Andrew Owili managed 4 points to finish second and pocket Sh3,000. In third place on 3.5 points was Evans Odipo, who pocketed Sh.2,000. In an interesting turn of events, KCB was controversially awarded the best team trophy despite not fielding a team, since its players were participants in their own private capacity, as the financial giant failed to sponsor them! Strathmore University was declared the best University team.
The tournament was sponsored by the proprietor of the Scottish Tartan Hotel, William McTough who promised to work hard to have a better prize fund for subsequent ones, thus attracting more participants. The chief arbiter FA George Githui ensured that all the rounds started on schedule and ran without any hiccup.
Meanwhile, the season 2015 national league is expected to kick off on Sunday at the KCB sports club in Ruaraka.
Puzzle: How did White (Ricky Sang) proceed against Black (Solomon Lubega) in this game played at the Scottish Tartan Open Tournament, 2015 in Kisumu?
Solution: 1.Be4 Rxh2 2.Rf7+ Kh8 3.Qxg6 Bf8 4.Rxc7 Be7 5.Kxh2