The national league resumed over the weekend in what was dubbed ‘the Super Weekend’ with teams playing 4 games in total.
Top of the bill was the much awaited mouth-watering clash between the defending champions KCB and last season’s runners up Equity Bank.
Both sides had strengthened their squads during the transfer window with the former having two Ugandans and the latter three hnence the battle royal ended in a well-deserved 2.5 -2.5 draw. Both teams won their remaining fixtures, with Equity now sitting on top of the log with a superior game points record.
Fancied outside title contenders, Deadly Bishops and Nairobi Chess Club, posted mixed results but still remain formidable opponents to watch out for. Kisii Chess Club also showed up but Mt.Kenya University (MKU) continued to disappoint as they once again failed to honour their fixtures.
Another well-earned draw was by the financially struggling Eastlands Chess Club, who held Nairobi Chess Academy & Club to a 2.5-2.5 draw. The latter recruited heavily from the former, in spite of having been pioneers of the legendary Eastlands club.
This weekend, action switches to Braeburn School on Gitanga Road, where the Nairobi Chess Club will host the 57th Nairobi Chess Club open Championship. The event will be split into four sections; Prestige (below FIDE rating 2200), Open (below 1825), Ladies and Juniors (under 16 years), with only the first three being FIDE-rated and played over 6 rounds at a time control of 90 minutes per player to finish the game.
The junior section will be played on Saturday over 5 rounds with each player allocated 25 minutes. Entry fee for the prestige section is Sh1500, Open (Sh1,000), ladies (Sh850) and juniors (Sh800). The winner in the prestige section will pocket Sh30,000 with the 1st runners-up getting Sh15,000 and second runners-up (Sh10,000).
The top prize in the open section will be Sh15,000, 2nd Sh7,500 and 3rd Sh5,000 with both sections having a Sh1,000 prize for the upset of the tournament. The ladies’ winner will take home Sh15,000 while second and third finishers will pocket Sh7,500 and Sh5,000 respectively.
In the juniors category, the top three finishers will win Sh5,000; Sh2,500 and Sh1,500 respectively, besides gift vouchers from Text Book Center that shall be awarded according to the final ranking position. The top 3 podium finishers in all sections shall also receive trophies.
Puzzle: How did White (Desmond Kieti) attempt to swindle Black (Mehul Gohil) into a stalemate in this game played during the 2015 national league?
Solution: 1.g6 Re4 2.b7 Re8 3.b8=Q Rxb8 4.Rc8+ Kg7 (if Rxc8 then gxh7 or f7 stalemates after king captures or if Kh8 or Kf8).