Kenyans post mixed results at Zonal chess tourney in Uganda

By francis marangu
Apr 22, 2015
  • Candidate Grand Master Ben Magana in a past tournament.(Photo:SNA File)

Kenyan chess players had a mixed outing at the opening four rounds at the 2015 Africa Zone 4.2 Individual Chess Championship taking place in Kampala, Uganda.

Ken Omollo and Daphne Mwikali had the best performances posting two wins each. In round one, Omollo beat Tanzanian Max Munisi 1-0 before succumbing to a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Ugandan International Master Elijah Emojong.

Omollo bounced back in the third round to beat Yusuf Mdoe from Tanzania 1-0 but lost the fourth 0-1 to Raphael Buti of Uganda. Candidate Master Ben Magana has two draws and two losses. In the first round, Magana tied ½-½ with Egyptian Grandmaster Essam El Gindy before losing second round 0-1 to Leykun Mesfin from Ethiopia.

The third round was a ½-½ tie with Tanzanian Godlove Kimaro and a 0-1 loss in the fourth against Mathias Ssonko from Uganda. In the ladies open category, Mwikali beat Stella-Triella Nduwayezu from Burundi 1-0 and Feven Gebremeskel from Ethiopia with a similar score.

Her identical 0-1 losses were handed by Ugandans Christine Namaganda and Phiona Mutesi. Equity Bank’s Ivy Amoko has remained impressive for Uganda with two wins and two draws.

Include Chess in KSSSA 

Elsewhere, Chess Kenya has partnered with the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association, Education and Sports Ministries as well as Kenya Association of Sports to introduce the game as a sport in school games.

Githinji Hinga, the CK chairman said they have set aside 4,700 chess boards to be distributed to all public schools across the 47 counties for students to familiarize themselves with the sport.

When Gary Kasparov, a former world chess champion, visited Kenya, he, through the Gary Kasparov Foundation donated 5,000 chess boards to the federation. "We are targeting public schools and are starting with secondary schools by distributing chess boards. This will go a long way in helping the students familiarize themselves with the sport," Hinga stated.

The CK boss noted that in countries like Europe, chess was incorporated in the education curricula and added CK's target was to see Chess introduced at a lower level to children under 10 years. He hopes the partnership will see Chess included in next year's KSSSA games.

In October last year, Chess was ranked second to football with 181 countries against 205 playing soccer.

David Ngugi, the KSSSA received 80 chess boards at the closing ceremony of last week's Term 1 games at Nakuru High School. He thanked UNICEF for establishing 12 sports talent centers and called on county governments to consider partnering with schools in establising more centers.

Additional reporting by Robert Kibet in Nakuru