This weekend will see chess players from the region troop into Bungoma County for the 2nd edition of the Governor’s Chess Championship to be played at the Elegant Hotel from November 20-22nd.
Organized by Bungoma Chess Club, the 6 round FIDE-rated event will comprise 4 categories; prestige, open, ladies and juniors, and is one of the 6 events in the Grand Prix circuit that will be used to select the national teams to the 40th Chess Olympiad to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan next year.
On paper, an intimidating contingent of players from Uganda has expressed interest in crossing the Malaba border to come do battle with their Kenyan counterparts and a couple of players from Tanzania are expected to spice up the event. Traditionally, Ugandans have had an upper hand in the region but an emerging regiment of Kenyan players is prepared to put them to the sword.
Sponsored by the Bungoma County Governor Kenneth Lusaka with support from Oriolec, Club GII and Newsroom, the event boasts of a total cash prize of Sh104,500, and the winner in the prestige section will go away with Sh30,000 with the 1st and 2nd runners-up pocketing Sh20,000 and Sh10,000 respectively.
The open section champion will be awarded Ksh.15,000 with the 2nd placed finisher scoopingSh7,500 as the 3rd one gets Sh5,000. The ladies winner will collect Sh10,000 with the 1st and 2nd runners-up taking home Sh7,500 and Sh5,000 respectively. Trophies for the winners and medals for the juniors will also be awarded.
The prestige section will be played over the 3 days with each player having 2 hours plus 30 seconds increment per move to finish the game, whereas the open will be played over the weekend at a time control of 90 minutes per player. The juniors will only play on Saturday. Entry fee is Sh1,500 for prestige as the open (which includes the ladies) is Sh1,000 and Sh500 for the juniors.
As an added incentive, the top 3 Kenyan finishers will be sponsored by Chess Kenya in partnership with the Kasparov Chess Foundation – Africa, to the FIDE-rated Tanzania Chess Championship due to take place from November 27-30th at the Peacock Hotel, Dar es Salaam.
The tournament director Humphrey Nyongesa, popularly known as Baba Jamari, has promised a tournament to remember and can be reached on 0725 002181 for further details. National league champions in waiting, KCB are expected to send a strong team.
Puzzle: Find White’s (Vasilij Gagarin) best move against Black (Stanislav Vechet) as played at the 37th Trade Fair Open A, 2012
Solution: 1.Rxh5 gxh5 2.Bxh7+ Kxh7 3.Qxh5+ Kg8 4.Qg6+ Kh8 5.Nd5+ wins