KCB’s skipper CM Ben Magana triumphed in the prestige section of the 57th Nairobi Chess Club Championship at Braeburn School on Gitanga Road in Nairobi over the weekend.
He won 5 games and drew 1 to finish with 5.5/6 points and take home Sh30,000 with a glittering trophy. Nairobi Chess Club’s Mehul Gohil put behind him the disappointment of being banned from a previous tournament, to emerge second with 5 points and Sh15,000 safely tucked in his pocket. Ugandan CM Haruna Nsubuga finished third and got Sh10,000.
In the ladies section, tournament favourite WFM Ivy Amoko of KCB lived up to her billing by obliterating the opposition to score a perfect 6/6 points, thus earning Sh15,000. She was followed by Equity’s Gweyani Jumba (5 points) and WCM Riya Shah (4 points), who won Sh7,500 and Sh5,000 respectively.
The hotly contested Open section saw an otherwise unknown but surgical Sudanese James Madol Panchol emerge tops with 5.5 points to take home Sh15,000. In second place on 5.5 points as well but separated on tie-break was Evans Sinoyo, who got Sh7,500 as James Muchai garnered 5 points that ensured he took the Sh5,000 third prize.
In the highly competitive junior section, Anish Sukumar won himself Sh5,000 by coming tops with the maximum 5/5 points, same as WCM Krishi Shah who finished second on tie-break and won Sh2,500 as third placed Dylan Brady Onyango managed 4 points and collected Sh1,500. All winners in each category were also presented with trophies.
There was no begrudging Magana’s 4th tournament win of the season for he has been in a rich vein of form. Perhaps the most disappointing performance was from Ugandan veteran CM Bob Bibasa, who was the highest rated player of the pack, but finished in 14th place out of 23 players on 3 points. It was, however, refreshing to see Lyndah Abur making a comeback and she is expected to be a force to reckon with once she shakes off some rust.
In total, 145 players took part in the two-day event, save for the junior section which was played on Saturday. The tournament organiser was Kim Bhari assisted in arbitration by Moses Andiwoh, Terrence Chazima and Duke Micheka. The 3rd edition of the Daystar Open will be held at their imposing Athi River campus on September 26-27, with a top prize of Sh30,000 amongst others.
Puzzle: How did White (Bernard Wanjala) proceed against Black (Jackson Kamau) in this game played during the 57th Nairobi Chess Club Championship?