The 4th edition of the annual Daystar Open Chess tournament—organized and sponsored by the Daystar University Chess Club—takes place this weekend at their serene and prestigious campus in Athi River, Machakos County.
The 2-day event will comprise the prestige, open, ladies and junior categories with today being the online registration deadline at www.daystar.chesstournament.co.ke, else late entries shall attract a penalty above the registration fee of Sh1,500 for the FIDE-rated prestige, Sh.1,000 for the open and ladies section, with the juniors paying Sh800.
Top players in the country and from the region, especially the Ugandans who make this as one of their several annual pilgrimages to Kenya, are expected to participate. The 6 round prestige section will also double up as the first of one of the circuits for the recently proposed Grand Prix system to be used in selecting national team players for the 2016 Zone 4.2 championship and Olympiad.
The 1st prize in the prestige section will be Sh30,000 with the 1st and 2nd runners-up getting Sh20,000 and Sh15,000 respectively with the 4th finisher pocketing Sh7,000. In the open section, the winner will take home Sh25,000 with the 2nd one winning Sh15,000, and the 3rd and 4th placed getting Sh10,000 and Sh7,000 respectively.
The ladies champion will walk away with Sh20,000 as the 2nd placed gets Sh15,000 with the 3rd one pocketing Sh10,000 and Sh7,000 going to the 4th winner. All podium finishers’ will also get a trophy plus a certificate of participation, which shall be the awards for the top 4 juniors as well.
The tournament will be run using the Swiss System of pairing, with each player having 90 minutes to finish the game and it is sanctioned by the national federation, Chess Kenya (CK) who will also provide the equipment (chessboards, sets and clocks).
And in a bullish display of might last weekend, one of Kenya’s top players Mehul Gohil took on 5 seasoned players —Joseph Maigua, Austin Walela, Tom Amwai, James Muchai and Peniel Weru— in a simultaneous exhibition at the KCB Sports Club, Ruaraka. Each player had 90 minutes with 30 seconds increment per move to finish the game.
At stake was Sh12,500 with Mehul needing to win by a margin of 5-0 to lay claim to the winner-takes-it-all purse. He, however, capitulated at the hands of Maigua, who saved his teammates blushes and ensured they went home richer!
Puzzle: Find how White (I.Nepomniachtchi) won against Black (Judith Polgar) at the 8th World Teams, 2011.
Solution: 1.Rd6 Bc7 2.Nxc7+ Qxc7 3.Ra6+ Qa7 4.Qb5 Rb8 5.Qxb8#