All is set for the Kenya National Youth Chess championships finals at Makini School on October 31 following conclusion of Mt. Kenya Region qualifiers held on Saturday at Bishop Gatimu Ngandu High School.
The qualifiers brought together a total of 12 schools with 182 players registered to fight it out for top honors in different age categories. All categories were competitive with new players coming up to claim top prizes.
In the boys' category, Kelvin Githae and Michael Mundati both from Effort Junior Academy won the under-12 and under-14 respectively. Brian Chege of St. Mary’s Boys won in under-16 while under-18 was taken by Simon Kanyutu of Baricho Boys High School.
In the girls' category, Florence Atieno from Nyeri Hillstead School was crowned the winner in under-8 with Daisy Muthoni from St. Agnes Girls winning under-12. Peris Waweru of the host school took the under-14, Abigael Wairimu of Karima Girls High School won under-16 with the host school producing the winner in under-18, Corazon Karoki.
Top five players qualified for the national finals which will be part of the Chess Kenya national youth team selection process. Chess Kenya will select the national junior team players to represent the country at this year’s international chess tournaments including African Youth Chess Championships (AYCC) to be held in Lusaka, Zambia from December 5-13.
The penultimate leg was held in Mombasa last weekend during the annual Mombasa Open Chess Championship hosted by Mombasa Chess Club with 14 players taking part.
Youngster Arul Samesh had a perfect run winning the juniors section with a maximum 6/6 score. Four juniors tied at second place with 4/6 points. They were Vihaan Kumar, Goutham Parameswaran, Naim Abdulhakim and Gideon Mtango.
First leg at Daystar
The event also doubled up as the second Chess Kenya grand prix event and attracted 77 participants from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan. The first leg was held late last month at Daystar University.
The open section was the most competitive and attracted 63 players who were attracted by a Sh.50,000 prize money. After six rounds of play, Uganda’s International Master Arthur Ssegwanyi who plays for Equity Bank won in the open section with 5.5 points.
He pocketed a cash prize of Sh.15,000 and was the highest-rated player at the event. His only draw was in the third round against Ricky Sang of KCB.
Five players tied in the second place with 5/6 points with Buchholz separating the tie breaks. South Sudan’s duo of James Madol and Peter Diing from Kenyatta University, Candidate Master Kenneth Omollo of Equity Bank, Gohil Mehul of Nairobi Chess Club and Sajid Nurmohamed were all-square.
Madol and Diing shared the second and third position. Each was awarded Sh.3,000.
Emmah Wangari of Proxy Chess House and Agnes Thuo of Mombasa Chess Club tied at the top in the women's category with 4/6 points and won Sh.6,500 in prize money each. Isabelle Asiema from Strathmore University came third with 3.5/6 points and received Sh.3,000.
Mt. Kenya Region Qualifiers Results
Under-8 ,Girls: 1. Florence Atieno (Nyeri Hillstead School); Under-10, Boys: 1. Joseph Ephraim (Effort Junior Academy), 2. Willy Maina (Effort Junior Academy), 3. Winston Kiama (Effort Junior Academy); Under-12, Boys: 1. Kelvin Githae (Effort Junior Academy), 2. Chris Wagema (Effort Junior Academy), 3. Emmanuel Muhoro (Effort Junior Academy); Under-12, Girls: 1. Daisy Muthoni (St. Agnes Girls), 2. Pollet Wambui (St. Agnes Girls), 3. Patriciah Kathambi (St. Agnes Girls); Under-14, Boys: 1. Michael Mundati (Effort Junior Academy), 2. John Mbugua (St. Mary’s Boys), 3. Newton Karimi (St. Mary’s Boys); Under-14, Girls: 1. Peris Waweru (Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School), 2. Shalom Stacy (St. Agnes Girls), 3. Clara Muthoni (Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School); Under-16 Boys: 1. Brian Chege (St. Mary’s Boys), 2. Raphael Ndonga (St. Mary’s Boys), 3. Vincent Ndegwa (Kanjuri High School); Under-16, Girls: 1. Abigael Wairimu (Karima Girls High School), 2. Phyllis Wahura (Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School), 3. Faith Kamau (Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School); Under-18, Boys: 1. Simon Kanyutu (Baricho Boys High School), 2. Jeff Kariuki (Baricho Boys High School), 3. Eliel Berur (Baricho Boys High School); Under-18, Girls: 1. Corazon Karoki (Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School), 2. Sonia Wairimu (Mugoiri Girls High School), 3. Savinda Gitu (Karima Girls High School).