Kenya’s Candidate Master Ben Magana lost on tie-breaker to Rwanda’s Eugene Mugema Kagabo, the eventual winner of the 2016 Rwanda Open Chess championships that concluded on Monday at the Classic Hotel in Kigali.
Both players had tied on 6/7 points. Kagabo now qualifies directly to the last phase of the Olympiad selection team event in May.
Candidate Master Godfrey Kabera of Rwanda came third with 5.5/7 to complete the podium finish. Magana was the only Kenyan player at the tournament and beat Rwandan opponents in most of the rounds.
In round one, he dismissed Nice Isimbi in a 1-0 score and repeated the same to Rutaremara Theotime in round two, Zimurinda Ben Tom in round three, Candidate Master Ruzigura Alexis in fourth round, Burundi’s Ezra Paul Chambers in round five and Candidate Master Murara Maxence also from Burundi in seventh round. His only loss was inflicted by Godfrey Kabera in round six.
The tournament attracted a total of 44 players drawn from DR Congo, Burundi, Kenya and hosts Rwanda.
The winner took home Frw150,000 while second and third places got Frw100,000 and Frw 70,000 respectively.
Among the eight women who took part, Odile Kalisa emerged the best with 4/7 points and took home Frw50,000. Best junior was awarded to Burundi’s Ezra Paul Chambers who had an impressive 5/7 points and placed sixth in overall ranking.
He was the surprise player of the event beating senior players and had two draws. In the end, his efforts saw him walk away with Frw30,000 and will gain the highest rating points (95) when the lists are updated in March.