10-year-old stars for kenya at Chess Olympiad

Sep 10, 2021
  • Kenyan sensation Sharanya Iyengar.(Photo by Arman Karakhayan/Chessolympiadistanbul)

Most teenagers can only dream of making their school teams in most sports.

Sharanya Iyengar is literery living her dream.At the age of 10 she has already cemented her position in the Kenya chess squad and was part of the five member team that represented the country at the sports biennial Olympiad that ended on Sunday in Istanbul,Turkey.

Sharanya went through two stages of qualifiers to make the cut. She went further to prove her worth in the team by finishing with the most points, 6 out of 10 games and being awarded the title of Woman Candidate Master (one needs at least 50% score to win this).

Ben Magana also won the coveted title of Candidate Master after scoring 5 points out of 10, in the men's competitions where Kenya dropped 17 places to rank 139th out of 150.

At 108th out of 127, this was the highest finish by the ladies team their inexperience and lack of professional training,notwithstanding.

The others in the ladies team were Jane Wambugu, Rehema Khimulu, Isabel Asiema and Gloria Jumba.

The men’s team had Mehul Gohil, Martin Gateri, Joseph Atwoli and Githinji Hinga. They were also accompanied by coaches John Mukabi (ladies) and both Peter Gilruth and Brian Kidula (men’s team).

Prior to the Olympiad Sharanya Iyengar had won a silver at the African Youth Chess Championships in Zambia last year.

She also won the ladies section of the Kenya Open in May despite being the youngest in a field of 30.



Collins Young

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