Equity Bank’s CM Kenneth Omolo is the 2015 Kenya champion after winning the national championship held at Strathmore University from the 11th-13th, after amassing 21/24 points. He was also crowned the national league’s best board 2 player at the dual awards ceremony.
After 6 rounds Mehul Gohil was the sole leader with a perfect score of 6/6 giving him 18 points in the Bilbao scoring system that was applied in the tournament. He however met his waterloo in the 7th round as Omolo outclassed him in the endgame, then eventual 1st runners-up Peter Gilruth smothered any flickering embers of Gohil’s possible joint first finish when he demolished him in the last round to finish with 20 points.
Yours Truly came in 3rd place on 19 points as Gohil, James Panchol and James Muchai completed the podium finish on 18 points apiece. Moses Maina was the best under 21 player on 15 points and will be sponsored by Chess Kenya (CK) to represent the country in the African Junior Championship, in Mahe Islands, Seychelles from Dec 27 – Jan 6, 2016, alongside WCM Riya Shah who was in a class of her own in the ladies section as she triumphed with 22 points, 6 clear of her nearest rival Gloria Jumba who inevitably had to miss round 1. Isabelle Asiema finished 3rd with 16 points too.
WCM Krishi Shah (14 points) won the girls’ junior section followed by Mussa Kalyn (12 points) and Fathma Mohammed (10 points). In the boys’ section Musa Kais won with 13 points, and he had earlier surprisingly troubled Omolo in a complex position! Kibicho Ndoga (13 points) and Dedan Jeff (12 points) were 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The 8-round Fide rated tournament which attracted 68 men in the open section and 12 ladies was organized by Strathmore University Chess Club.
In the national league awards ceremony, defending champions KCB walked away with KShs.100,000 plus as glittering huge trophy after being crowned champions. Equity Bank took the second position for the second year running and pocketed KSh.50,000 with a trophy as debutants Nairobi Chess Academy and Club (NACHA) finished 3rd and received KShs.30,000 plus a trophy.
Strathmore University won the universities trophy as Tritonite Stars’ Saloni Karania won a shopping voucher worth KSh.5,000 for being the best junior. Board 1 – 5 winners who pocketed KSh.10,000 each were Peter Gilruth (Nairobi Chess Club), Kenneth Omolo (Equity), Kamadi Akidiva (Checkmates), Martin Oyamo (Deadly Bishops) and Jane Wambugu (Prox Chess House).