Sumit Deshpande, a pupil at Oshwal Academy, started playing chess in 2010 and later in the year qualified to represent the country in the World Youth Chess Championship (WYCC) in Greece, as the U8 national champion.
Sumit subsequently participated in the 2010 Singapore International chess festival and the 2011 African Youth chess Championship (AYCC) held in Zambia. In 2012, he was selected again for the AYCC held in Pretoria, South Africa, but unfortunately he was diagnosed as being type-1 diabetic, hence couldn’t travel.
He, however, bounced back and played in 2013 event in Port Elizabeth, South Africa as well as in the All India Fide rated chess tournament in Hyderabad, India. He also participated in the World Youth chess Championship held in Al Ain, Dubai as the U12 national champion.
His meteoric rise saw him play in the King’s Cup chess FIDE-rated championship held in Chennai, India, the 2014 AYCC in Monastir and in the Kenya versus Tanzania match in Dar-es-salaam, at which 5-time former world champion Viswanathan Anand was the guest of honour.
And a fortnight ago, Sumit was crowned the U14 national champion in both rapids and blitz. He was feted as the 2014 best active and promising junior player as well as most active male player. He plays for Checkmates in the national league and is coached by Moses Andiwoh.
And 9-year-old Aguda Lwanga started chess in 2013, and in the same year became the U8 national champion thus represented Kenya at the WYCC in the UAE. As he progressed, he literally vanquished the opposition in most tournaments in the U12, U10 and U8 age categories, and he is the reigning U10 national blitz and rapid champion.
His eyes are now focused on representing Kenya in the Africa individual schools junior championship in Botswana in August and the WYCC in Greece in October. He hopes to one day become a chess grandmaster.
He is currently the youngest player in the senior national chess league, where he turns out for Nairobi Chess Academy and Club. His younger brother, 7-year-old Odongo Lwanga, started chess at 5 years old and has also recorded impressive results as he steps up into the shoes of his elder brother. Both attend Consolata primary school, where Aguda is the chess club president and Odongo the arbiter. We must identify and nurture young talent early, if we are to have an impact.
Puzzle: Find the best moves for White (Viswanathan Anand) against Black (Alexander Grischuk) in the 20th Amber Rapid, 2011.
Solution: 1.Qf4 Rxd4 2.Nxd4 Bxe4 3.Ne6 Rc8 4.Rxc8+ Qxc8 Qh6 wins.