Quite a few things have happened in Kenyan chess since my last column, the most major of them being a new petition against our federation, Chess Kenya. This comes close on the heels of a major announcement two weeks ago by Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts, Hassan Wario, to ban all federations which have not complied with the 2013 Sports Act from executing their mandate, Chess Kenya being one of them.
Amongst the key points raised in the petition document released by lead petitioner CM John Mukabi are: the failure to hold Annual General Meetings, failure to present audited accounts for last three years and accumulating debt with the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Further, a Special General Meeting of members has been called for on March 20 at Nyayo Stadium to discuss conduct of Chess Kenya executive and appointment of a caretaker committee to pave way for election of new officials. On confirming that he had received the petition documents in his email inbox, Chess Kenya Secretary General Joseph Atwoli reacted on Twitter saying, “Yeah, saw it. Looks convincing. :S”
The last time a petition against Chess Kenya was lodged with the relevant authorities in early 2012, it saw the constitution of the Interim Chess Kenya Committee (ICKC) that took over running of chess in Kenya for a year before the current office bearers were elected on 20th April 2013.
This will come as a massive blow to the image of chess in Kenya that has seen countless wrangles over the years resulting from mismanagement and abuse of office.
In other news, two key decisions were taken at a national league team captains meeting that will greatly affect recruitment of players by teams for the 2016 edition:
1. A sixth board will be added where only a junior (under 16) player or a lady player (where a junior is unavailable) will be allowed to play.
2. No more than one player from a non-Kenyan federation may be fielded in the playing six during any round.
Solution: 1. gxh8=N#!! Sometimes under promoting can be fun. Black was looking to deliver checkmate with 1. .. Qg2# before being rudely stopped by the just birthed knight.