Kenyans set pace as Millionaire Chess festival begins

By francis marangu
Apr 30, 2021
  • Ben Magana in a past action.(Photo:SNA File)

Chess lovers will have a memorable Labour Day weekend as the Kenya Millionaire Chess Festival began on Thursday at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) to run through to Sunday.

Prestige section got the event rolling on day one with Kenyan players taking an early lead. The four days event has attracted top chess players in the region including Uganda and Ethiopia.

In selected results from first round, Candidate Master Ben Magana and Kenneth Omollo were victorious. Omollo beat Ethiopia’s Abdullahi Muhamed Haji 1-0, Magana won against Allan Victor while Joseph Atwoli who is the Chess Kenya secretary general beat James Muchai 1-0.

Other victorious Kenyans included Deshpande Sumit Satish who beat Ethiopia’s Abera Aydagnuhem Gezachew 1-0, Vincent Ngeno beat Deshpande Sanjana Satish 1-0, Wanjiru Moses Maina benefited from a bye while Gilruth Peter who was not paired walked home with ½ points.

Out of 22 pairings for first round, 19 Kenyans were victorious. Candidate Master Wachira William Wachania lost 0-1 to Charles Lwanga also from Kenya while FIDE Master Pendyala Ritvik lost to Uganda’s FIDE Master Harold Wanyama.

Uganda’s Candidate Master Haruna Nsubuga who will be a top attraction at the event beat Ethiopia’s Adebo Muhaba Detamo 1-0.

The prestige section has attracted 46 participants and will be played for 8 Rounds Swiss - 90 minutes per player + 30 seconds.

Trip to Las Vegas tournament

Unrated players with a playing strength of 1600+ are eligible to compete against players with FIDE rating. The overall winner gets a free trip to the Las Vegas Millionaires tournament from October 8-12. The total prize fund is $1,000,000 and overall winner pockets $100,000.

The open section will be played for 7 Rounds Swiss - 90 minutes per player and its open to those with FIDE rating and unrated players with a playing strength of 1900+. Junior section will be played for 7 Rounds Swiss - 90 minutes per player.

Organizers have put in place adequate measures to ensure smooth running of the event with security among the top priorities.

There will be screening right from the entrance.Any person wishing to attend the event must get clearance from the organizers. Another measure put in place is barring of electronic devices within the playing area.

“Any player caught with an electronic device (whether within the playing area or outside, while the games are ongoing) will be immediately ejected from the tournament,” reads a circular sent to all participants.

“This will also lead to further disciplinary action by way of being barred from participating in any FIDE-rated tournament for a minimum period of 2 (two) years.”

Furthermore, spectators are barred from entering the playing area unless authorised by the Chief Arbiter of a particular section.

Order of Play: PRESTIGE SECTION (FIDE-Rated): 30-Minutes Walkover Time 8 Rounds Swiss - 90 minutes per player + 30 seconds; Thursday (30/4) - 1st Rd = 8.30AM to 12.30PM. 2nd Rd = 1.30PM to 5.30PM; Friday (1/5) - 3rd Rd = 8.30AM to 12.30PM. 4th Rd = 1.30PM to 5.30PM; Saturday (2/5) - 5th Rd = 8.30AM to 12.30PM. 6th Rd = 1.30PM to 5.30PM; Sunday (3/5) - 7th Rd = 8.00AM to 12.00PM. 8th Rd = 12.30PM to 4.30PM, Sunday (3/5) - Tiebreak (if any) - 5PM to 6.30PM; OPEN SECTION (FIDE-Rated): 7 Rounds Swiss - 90 minutes per player. FIDE rating should be less than 1900. 30-Minutes Walkover Time; Thursday (30/4) - No Rounds; Friday (1/5) - 1st Rd = 8.30AM to 11.30AM. 2nd Rd = 11.30PM to 2.30PM. 3rd Rd = 3PM to 6PM; Saturday (2/5) - 4th Rd = 9.30AM to 12.30PM. 5th Rd = 1.30PM to 4.30PM; Sunday (3/5) - 6th Rd = 8.30AM to 11.30AM. 7th Rd = 12.30PM to 3.30PM, Sunday (3/5) - 5PM to 6.30PM - Closing Ceremony & Awards Session; JUNIOR SECTION (FIDE-Rated): 7 Rounds Swiss - 90 minutes per player 30-Minutes Walkover Time; Thursday (30/4) - No Rounds; Friday (1/5) - 1st Rd = 8.30AM to 11.30AM. 2nd Rd = 11.30PM to 2.30PM, 3rd Rd = 3PM to 6PM; Saturday (2/5) - 4th Rd = 9.30AM to 12.30PM. 5th Rd = 1.30PM to 4.30PM; Sunday (3/5) - 6th Rd = 8.30AM to 11.30AM. 7th Rd = 12.30PM to 3.30PM, Sunday (3/5) - 5PM to 6.30PM - Closing Ceremony & Awards Session.