Makini School in Nairobi County hosted the 2015/16 Kenya National Youth Championship (KNYCC) last Saturday, that saw winners in the under 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 age categories for both boys and girls crowned national champions. The youth champions will represent Kenya in the 2015 African Youth Chess Championships (AYCC) to be held in Lusaka, Zambia from 5th–13th December 2015.
Played over 7 rounds, with each player having 30 minutes to finish the game, the 132 regional qualifiers from various schools battled it out and winners got a trophy each with the 1st and 2nd runners up being awarded a silver and bronze medal respectively. The top 3 finishers were as follows;
Under 8 girls: 1.Joy Njeri 2.Muturi Elane 3.Laurecia Minage; U8 boys: 1. Sanjay Ramesh 2.Reeyan Gosrani 3.Odongo Lwanga; U10 girls: 1.Hirandani Jia Rajesh 2.Ajiambo Ajia 3.Naiya Gosrani; U10 boys: 1.Aguda Lwanga 2.Trevor Jakes 3.Marsh Bhandary; U12 girls: 1.Gilliane Titi 2.Mercy Ingado 3.Audrey Tracy; U12 boys: 1.Timothy Mwabu 2.Darshan Shah 3.Mark Kogo.
Under 14 girls: 1.Varsani Reanna Paras 2.Peris Waweru 3.Sylvia Wahito; U14 boys: 1.Dev Shah 2.Hardiv Karania 3.Veer Shah; U16 girls: 1.WCM Riya Shah 2.Doricus Wanjala 3.Phyllis Wahura; U16 boys: 1.Brian Chege 2.Ezekiel Mugambi 3.Raphael Ndonga; U18 girls: 1.Karania Solani 2.Sonia Wairimu 3.Esther Gathoni; U18 boys: 1.Milton Mwangi 2.Simon Kanyutu 3.Wanjiru Moses Maina.
Further afield in the Eastlands area of Nairobi, the 5-round 3rd Shepherds Junior School Open Chess Championship took place on Saturday with 55 players drawn from ten schools competing in the under 8,10 ,12 and 18 age categories for both boys and girls, with each allotted 45 minutes to complete the game.
Nine year-old Fathima Mohamed of Samaj School, Nairobi South C caused a major upset by beating fifteen year-old Austin Gathii of Nairobi’s St. Mary’s School in the final round of the under 18 category to finish with a 100% score and thereby winning the girls under 18 title, as Austin won the boys one.
Premier Academy won the best School trophy with a total of 15 points, two ahead of the hosts, Shepherds Junior. Other represented schools were; All Saints Cathedral Primary, Beacon of Hope, Nairobi South Primary, Samaj School, Thomas Burke, St. Mary’s, Oshwal Academy Nairobi Primary, Faith Ventures Christian Academy, and Premier Academy.
The event was organized by Waridi Chess Ventures and Excel Chess Club with Steve Adili, the head teacher of Shepherds Junior School, gracing the prize giving ceremony as the chief guest.
Puzzle: Find White’s (Alexei Shirov) continuation against Black (Fabiano Caruana), during the Biel Accentus GM Tournament, 2011.
Solution: 1.Bf7 Qg1+ 2.Ka2 Ne5 3.Qf8+ Kh7 4.Bg6+ Nxg6 5. Qf7+ wins