KCB started their title defence by dropping half a point against little known debutants, the Kenyan Alliance Insurance Company Limited (KAI Knights) after their board 5 player WCM Krishi Shah was unexpectedly held to a draw by the impressive Loice Macharia, but still won 4.5-0.5, as the league kicked off at KCB Sports Club, Ruaraka.
Last season’s runners up Equity Bank made an easy meal of the fancied Eastlands chess club by walloping them 5-0, buoyed by their new signing CM Kenneth Omolo, a former national champion and Olympian. Other new signings are Ugandan imports IM Elijah Emojong and CM Patrick Kawuma, who join their countryman IM Arthur Ssegwanyi in an impressive Equity outfit.
Strathmore University succumbed 1-4 to Deadly Bishops, anchored by Olympians Joseph Atwoli and Githinji Hinga, with their only win coming from Olympian Isabella Asiema on board 5, a preserve for the ladies. Checkmates beat University of Nairobi 3-2 while Prox Chess House blanked out Mt. Kenya University 5-0 to complete the day’s fixtures.
The league ends in December, with the champions being awarded Sh100,000, 1st runners up Sh50,000 and the 2nd runners up Sh30,000 plus team trophies and medals for each of the 12 team members. Individual board winners will get Sh10,000 plus a trophy and a medal, with the runners up winning digital chess clocks. The best university will settle for a trophy as the best junior will be presented with a shopping voucher worth Sh5,000.
Meanwhile Nairobi Chess Academy and Club, in conjunction with Chess Kenya, hosted the Nairobi region Kenya national youth chess championship qualifiers at Makini School on Saturday, in which 170 participants from 22 schools took part, with the following results.
U8 Boys: 1.Jayden Fokuoe 2.Abinesh Lakshwin 3.Reeyan Gosrani; Girls: 1. Joy Njeri 2.Elane Muturi 3.Natalie Luvanda; U10 Boys: 1. Aguda Lwanga, 2. Anish Sukumar, 3.Trevor Jakes; Girls: 1. Fathima Mohamed, 2. Jia Rajesh Hiranandani, 3.Naiya Gosrani; U-12 Boys: 1.Timothy Mwabu, 2. Darshan Shah, 3. Bhargav Simha; Girls: 1.Mercy Ingado, 2. WCM Krishi Shah, 3.Aunam Shah.
U14 Boys: 1.Dev Shah, 2.Aravind Vengarai, 3. Hardiv Karania; Girls: 1. Reanna Paaras Varsani, 2. WCM Shefali Kachra, 3. Sravya Vadrevu, Arya Vedic; U16 Boys: 1. Kais Mussa, 2. Subham Rai, 3. Ezekiel Mugambi; Girls: 1. WCM Riya Shah, 2. Sita Shah, 3. Ramya Vadrevu; U18 Boys: 1. Moses Maina, 2. John Kamasho 3. Ezekiel Kiplimo; Girls: 1.Saloni Karania 2. Subhika Grandhe. The top 2 finishers in each category, and who are citizens, qualified for the final phase to be held in August/September.
Puzzle: What was the best continuation for (White) CM Kenneth Omolo against Black (Geoffrey Mulaga) in this Kenya national league game, 2015?
Solution: 1.Bf8+ Kg8 2.fxg6 wins for if 2….Kxf8 3.Qxh8# or if 2…Bg7 3.Bxg7 Kxg7 4.Qh7+ Kf8 5.Qf7#