Kenya Commercial Bank inched closer to retaining the league title after seeing off their opponents in the matches played over the ‘Super Weekend’, as Equity lost any hope of putting up a spirited challenge after losing their second game of the season.
Perhaps buoyed by the high standards expected of them, KCB beat outside title contenders, the Deadly Bishops 4-1 on Saturday morning before whipping Technical University of Kenya 5-0 in the afternoon at the Kenyatta University.
They carried their rich vein of form over to Sunday as they thrashed the unpredictable KU 5-0 before beating Nairobi Chess Club 3.5-1.5. Their fierce rivals Equity started off their resurgent campaign with a 5-0 walkover against Mombasa Chess Club, and then obliterated both the Kenya Alliance Insurance (KAI Knights) and the juniors team Tritonite Stars 5-0.
But unexpectedly, debutants Nairobi Chess Academy and Club caused the upset of the weekend when they beat Equity 3-2 to dash their hopes of retaining the title they won two seasons ago. Once again, Kisii County and Mombasa Club failed to honour their fixtures.
Other select results saw hapless Mt. Kenya University lose with an identical margin of 0-5 to Eastlands Chess Club, Deadly Bishops, TUK and Strathmore University, as Checkmates beat KU 4-1 and KAI Knights 5-0 before losing 1.5-3.5 to Strathmore, who had earlier succumbed 0.5-4-5 to Prox Chess House Club.
The University of Nairobi had a disastrous outing as they were beaten 3.5-1.5 by Eastlands before being crashed 5-0 and 4.5-0.5 by NACHA and KU respectively. NCC got the better of KU by winning 4-1 but lost 1.5-3.5 against TUK, as Tritonite Stars bagged precious points via 5-0 walkovers, courtesy of Kisii and Mombasa.
With each board winner getting a cash reward of Sh10,000 at the end of the season, the battle for this is looking spicy. The top three contenders on each board are as follows; Board 1: 1.CM Peter Gilruth (NCC), 2. Mehul Gohil (NCC), 3. CM Ben Magana (KCB); Board 2: 1.Phillip Singe (KCB), 2. CM Kenneth Omolo (Equity), 3.Joseph Methu (Deadly Bishops); Board 3: 1. Martin Oyamo (Deadly Bishops), 2.Kamadi Akidiva (Checkmates), 3.Ricky Sang (KCB); Board 4: 1.WFM Ivy Amoko (KCB), 2.WCM Jane Wambugu (Prox Chess House), 3. Bonventure Alusa (Eastlands); Board 5: 1. Isabella Asiema, 2.Rahab Wangui (Deadly Bishops), 3.Sanjana Deshpande (Equity). KCB tops the league table followed by Equity and Deadly Bishops.
Puzzle: How did White (WFM Ivy Amoko) of KCB finish off Black (Billy Chepkonga) of Nairobi Chess Club in this league game during the Super Weekend?
Solution: 1.Bxh6 Ng8 2.Bg5+ Nh6 3.Bxh6+ gxh6 4.Qxh6#