The national league resumed on Saturday and Sunday in Nairobi at the Goan Gymkhana Club on Museum Hill and Stima Club in Ruaraka respectively.
On Saturday Nairobi Chess Club (NCC) enjoyed their home advantage by beating Eastlands Chess Club 3-2 as Kenyatta University (KU) walloped the Kenyan Alliance Insurance Company (KAI Knights) 5-0 and Prox Chess House dismissed the youthful Tritonite Stars 4-1.
The biggest upset of the weekend was staged by KU who beat Equity 3-2 to send excitement in their bitter rival’s (KCB) camp, who had demolished Nairobi Chess Academy and Club (NACHA) 5-0. Eastlands recovered to defeat Strathmore University 3-2, the same margin registered by Checkmates in handing defeat to Technical University of Kenya (TUK).
The KAI Knights must have had a nightmarish weekend as they again lost 5-0 to Tritonite Stars as NCC settled for a 2.5-2.5 draw with Deadly Bishops. The league committee deserves a pat on the back for the great effort it has put in the running of the league this season.
The annual interbank games also kicked off in Ruaraka on Saturday. Perhaps Equity will take solace in the fact that they edged KCB 2.5-1.5 though inexplicably lost 1-3 to Bank of Africa. After round 8, Standard Chartered was perched on top of the leaderboard on 19 points, followed by KCB on 16 points. Barclays was third with 14 points with Equity lying fourth on 13 points.
Other participating financial institutions are Central Bank of Kenya, Family Bank, Co-operative Bank, Commercial Bank of Africa, Housing Finance Group, Postbank, Consolidated Bank and Diamond Trust Bank.
And in the ongoing 128-player single elimination World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, Uganda’s International Master (IM) Arthur Ssegwanyi (2357) put up a spirited fight before bowing out to the world no.6 and the tournament’s 4th ranked super Grandmaster (GM) Anish Giri (2783) from Netherlands. Arthur was ranked 125th of the 128 players taking part.
On Saturday he pulled off an impressive draw against his opponent, with a glaring 426 points rating difference according to the World Chess Federation (FIDE)! Come Sunday, he lost in the return game to be sent home but not without having won many grandmasters hearts, including world no.4 GM Hikaru Nakamura who approached him for a pep talk just before his second game against GM Giri.
Egyptian GM Bassem Amin was the only player of the six participants from Africa to qualify for round 2.
Puzzle: How did White (Vladimir Kramnik) win this game against Black (Lazaro Bruzon, at the 2015 World Cup Tournament?