Winka Academy which is located in Nairobi’s South ‘C’ estate, last Saturday hosted the first ever youth chess tournament in this part of the city. And yes, the turnout was very promising, an indicator that the sport is becoming more popular going by the increase in chess activities in the country in the last two years.
61 players from 11 schools were represented in the championship which was contested in the under-8, 10, 12 and 18 age categories for both boys and girls. Austin Gathii of St. Mary’s School continued with his exploits by winning the under-18 boys category with a perfect score of 5 out of 5 points. Kylin Wangechi-Kahoro amassed 4.5 points to emerge top in the under 8 category which attracted 26 players.
Shepherds Junior School put up a spirited performance to edge out Winka Academy for the best school trophy by a point. The participants were drawn from All Saints Cathedral Primary (Madaraka estate), Newlight Academy (Kayole), Makini School, Samaj School (South C), St. Mary’s School (Westlands), Winka Academy (South C), Beacon of Hope (Ong’ata Rongai), Faith Ventures Christian Academy-Garden estate, Shepherds Junior School (Buruburu), Nairobi Primary, Riara Primary and Nairobi (South Primary).
Winners per category were: U8 boys: 1.Jessie Kirunga, 2.Rylee Miron, 3. Adrian Kariuki; U8 girls: 1.Kylin Kahoro, 2.Karen Nyawira, 3.Natalie Luvanda; U10 boys: 1.Yash Mayeka, 2.Jeremy Kirunga, 3. Moses Kibet; U10 girls: 1.Sharon Nyambura, 2.Nadia Rose, 3.Nikita Muringa; U12 boys:1. Maxrole Wambua, 2.Alvin Kinuthia, 3.Tevin Mungai; U12 girls: 1.Tracy Mboya, 2.Raisa Wanjiku, 3.Nakshatraa Shree. The best U18 boy was Austin Gathii as Julia Henry triumphed in the girls’ category.
Wairimu Kahoro, the director of Winka Academy, was the chief guest at the prize giving ceremony in the event organised by Waridi Chess Ventures in partnership with Winka Academy and Excel Chess Club. Samuel Kimani was the tournament director as Larry Kagambi took on the Chief Arbiter’s role.
The tournament was played over 5 rounds in all the categories, using the Swiss system of pairing with a time control of 45 minutes per player to finish the game.
Meanwhile, the national league resumes this weekend at Kenyatta University in what is dubbed as the 2nd Super Weekend. Each team will play 4 games in 2 days, before reverting to the usual 1 game per weekend. Incidentally, all the top games to watch out for will involve the league leaders KCB, who face the Deadly Bishops, KU and Nairobi Chess Club.
Puzzle: Find out how White (T.Petrosian) won against Black (Z.Jianchao) at the Lake Sevan GM tournament in 2011.
Solution: 1.Bh6 Bf6 2.Nxh4+ Bxh4 3.Qxg7+ Kf5 4.Qg4+ Kxe5 5.Qf4#