Last Saturday saw the 29th edition of the Mt. Kenya junior chess championship being held at Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls Secondary School in Karatina. A total of 247 students took place in this one day event played over 5 rounds, with only the under 18 boys’ category being played over 6 rounds.
Organized by the Mt. Kenya Chess Club under the leadership of Watson Weru, in conjunction with Nairobi Chess Academy and Club, whose CEO is FM Steve Ouma, the event attracted players from Makini and Consolata Schools from Nairobi; Good Shepherd Academy, Nyeri Hillstead, Mt. Kenya Junior Academy and Kanjuri Boys from Nyeri; Karima Girls from Kinangop; Tumutumu Girls, Karimara Boys, Kiarithaini Boys and St. Mary’s Boys from Karatina; Riabai Boys from Kiambu and the hosts.
The winners were U8 Boys: 1.Joseph Waweru 5pts 2. Gitonga Mahinda 4pts 3. Collins Kimani 3pts; Girls U8: 1.Natasha Gitonga 5pts 2.Jessica Gathoni 3.5pts 3.Michelle Muthoni 3pts; Boys U10: 1.Odongo Lwanga 5pts 2.Collins Karani 4pts 3.Caldwell Wachira 3pts; Girls U10: 1.Roselyn Sau 4.5pts 2.Shirleen Maina 4.5pts 3.Catherine Macharia 3.5pts; Boys U12: 1.Nigel Spencer 5pts 2.Gabriel Theuri 5pts 3.Andrew Nderitu 4pts; Girls U12: 1. Gilliane Titi 4pts 2. Elizabeth Wanjiru 4pts 3.Evelyne Nyambura 2.5pts; Boys U14: 1.Raphael Ndonga 5pts 2.Newton Karimi 4pts 3.Andrew Kiongo 4pts; Girls U14: 1.Cynthia Kyalo 5pts 2.Blaise Wairimu 4pts 3.Charleen Nzulu 3pts; Boys U16: 1.Alvin Waweru 5pts 2.Brian Chege 5pts 3.Kelvin Thiga 5pts; Girls U16: 1.Abigael Wairimu 5pts 2.Phyllis Wahura 4pts 3.Esther Gathoni 4pts; Boys U18: 1.Peniel Weru 6pts 2.Samuel Mbugua 5pts 3.Samuel Munyi 5pts; U18 Girls: 1.Winnie Watani 5pts 2.Jemimmah Maina 4pts 3.Stacy Gathu 3pts.
St. Mary’s Boys and Karima Girls were the best performers in the secondary schools section as Good Shepherd Academy and Nyeri Hillstead exceled in the primary schools section. Mr. Weru made a plea to the county governments to get involved by sponsoring chess events, if the game is to grow in the country. The winners were awarded trophies and medals.
And still in Central Kenya, the Kirinyaga Chess Association will host the Kirinyaga Youth Chess Championship this Sunday at the Kirinyaga University College, Kutus to be presided over by Chess Kenya. The categories to be competed for in both boys and girls categories will be U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18 over 6 rounds of play with each player having 30 minutes to complete the game.
There will also be a college students section and the winners shall be awarded medals and certificates, and more information can be obtained from the tournament organizer, Epitas Nyaga on 0720334291.
In a month filled with a chess tournament every weekend, the Nairobi Chess Academy and Club has partnered with the Kiambu County government through the department of youth and sports, and next weekend 28th-29th, the first ever Kiambu Open FIDE-Rated Chess Championship will be played at that Kiambu community hall over 6 rounds at a time control of 1 hour 30 minutes per player to complete the game.
Entry is absolutely free of charge and all one has to do to register is send an email to [email protected] and copy to [email protected] by Thursday 26th March indicating their name, ID/passport number, mobile number, email address and where from (Ward, County, Country). The tournament is open to all citizens, non-citizens, residents and non-residents as long as your Elo rating is below 2200 points.
Already players from neighbouring Uganda have expressed interest, as expected, and will be coming to compete for the top prize of KShs.30,000, 2nd KShs.20,000 and 3rd KShs.10,000 in both the Open and Ladies sections against our leading players. The top 3 juniors will be awarded medals in their respective age categories. The tournament’s chief arbiter will be FA Isaac Babu Odiah, whereas FM Steve Ouma shall be the tournament director and can be contacted on 0722705214 and 0722481960/0788260167 respectively.
Puzzle: Find the best moves for White (A.Morezevich) against Black (A.Grischuk) as played in the 64th Russian Championship 2011.