"My opponent left a glass of whisky 'en prise' and I took it 'en passant". - Henry Blackburne | SINCE 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007


The Kenya national chess championships were held from dec 14-16 2007 at Hillcrest school in karen. Peter gilruth emerged the overall winner with 6.0/7 points. He dethroned Ben Magana who was the reigning Kenya champion. Peter Gilruth the new Kenyan champion.

Peter Gilruth is the new Kenyan national chess champion. He scored 6/7 points in the event even though he missed the first round. In the last deciding game he outplayed Wycliffe Obutu in the endgame.

The championships also acted as the first phase of Olympiad qualifiers with the top 20 players short listed for the second phase.

Janet Rossana emerged as the ladies champion.


1. Peter Gilruth 6.0
2. Mathew Kanegeni 5.5
3. Philip Singe 5.5
4. Wycliffe Obutu 5.5
5. Mehul Gohil 5.0
6. James Apiri 5.0
7. Ben Magana 4.5
8. Victor Ngani 4.5
9. Steve Ouma 4.5
10. John Mukabi 4.5

Thursday, December 6, 2007


The Kenya national chess championships will take place on 14,15 and 16 December at Hillcrest school in karen. The championships will also act as the first phase of Olympiad qualification with the top 25 moving to the next stage. Ben Magana will be defending his title.

Ben Magana in yellow during a tournament in uganda. he will be defending his title as kenyan champion during the national championships.

Chess Kenya invites chess players to this year's National Chess Championship.This event will also double-up as the first phase of the Olympiad qualifiers.The top 25 players will qualify for the second phase.More on the Olympiad at the end of the Championship.Chess Kenya will also shortlist players from the junior category to fight it out for the final qualifiers to pick 3 representatives to represent the country at next year's Africa Junior Chess Championship.










The Kenya national blitz championships will take place on Wednesday 12 December 2007 at the checkkmates club. Mehul Gohil will be defending his title aganaist the likes of Magana and Nguku. More details follow below

VENUE: Downtown Pub & Rest.
TIME: 12pm onwards

ENTRY: Kshs 200 (incl. lunch)

Tournament Format:

This is going to follow the same format as the 1st blitz championship. It's gonna be grueling and will test anyone's chess stamina.


All players will be put into 4 seeded pools. The seeded players are as follows: Seed 1 - Mehul Gohil, Seed 2 - Ken Omolo, Seed 3 - Ben Magana, Seed 4 - Ben Nguku. The remaining players will be chosen randomly via secret ballot. Depending on turnout it may be that the seeded pools do not contain the same number of players.
Players will play a double round robin and the TOP 2 from each pool qualify into PHASE 2.


All those who are knocked out in phase one will take part in a patzer championship which will be a all play all double round robin. The winner will be declared Kenya Patzer blitz champion and bag Kshs 1,000. The 8 players who make it to PHASE 2 cannot take part with the patzers.


The 8 players will be divided into 2 pools. The players in this pool will not have met each other in PHASE 1. This will again be a double round robin and the TOP 2 from each pool will qualify for the finals.


The four finalists will play each other in a quadruple round robin which will eventually crown the new Kenya Blitz Champion 2007.


Friday, November 30, 2007


SNo Name Pts. Rk. Group

77 SIVARAJ Devisalini 3,0 74 U18 girls
43 MBWAYA Fridah 3,0 71 U8 girls
147 WERU Peniel 3,0 151 U10 boys
23 ASIEMA Leona 1,5 101 U10 girls
133 NAGDA Akshay 3,0 154 U12 boys
134 NAGDA Ankush 3,5 148 U12 boys
103 SATHYANARAYAN Tina 3,0 116 U12 girls
140 MOHAN Rahul 3,0 145 U14 boys
102 RAMMOHAN Vaishnavi 3,0 112 U14 girls
106 CHEGE Allan 0,5 124 U16 boys
92 MIMANO Esther 1,5 103 U16 girls

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


White to move and draw.
"If you cant solve this problem, then blame your geometry teacher who taught you that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line !!! "

Monday, November 26, 2007


The world youth chess championships is taking place in Turkey and kenya is represented by 11 players. So far kenyan perfomance has not been good but compared with the level of play in the country it has been okay.

After 8 rounds the highest kenyan player has 2.5 pts and that is SIVARAJ Devisalini playing in the girls under 18 category she is ranked 77 in her group. The second highest scorer is MBWAYA Fridah playing in the girls under 8. Altough this young girl has scored only 1 point she is the highest ranked kenyan at position 43. The highly regarded Peniel weru comes in third with 2 wins so far. But his under 10 category has very strong players including CM RUIZ C Joshua D rated 2246. Weru is ranked no 147/156. His lack of exposure in playing strong opponents may be showing itself but he still has five more years to perfect his game.

A kenyan girl takes part in a show of unit

The most impresive perfomer so far is MOHAN Rahul in the boys under 14 category. He has scored 2 points in a group that has 10 potential grandmasters including SALGADO LOPEZ Ivan of spain who is rates 2460 and will surely achive GM status at the end of the tournament. In the under 12 boys the Nagda brothers Akshay and Ankush have both scored 2 points. RAMMOHAN Vaishnavi in the under 14 girls has also scored 2 points from 2 draws and a win.

The future of kenyan chess lies in the likes of Allan Chege playing in the boys under 16 category. Chege is receving baptisim of fire like no other and has managed to get 0.5 pts from his 8 games so far. His compatriot in the girls under MIMANO Esther has not faired well but has 1.5 pts from 8 games.

The famous kenyan jersey commonly seen with athlethes is now the attraction in Turkey

Player overview for KENYA after 8 rounds
SNo Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts. Rk. Group
77 SIVARAJ Devisalini 0 KEN 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 1 0 2,5 70 U18 girls
43 MBWAYA Fridah 0 KEN 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1,0 73 U8 girls
147 WERU Peniel 0 KEN 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2,0 149 U10 boys
23 ASIEMA Leona 0 KEN 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 0 1,5 101 U10 girls
133 NAGDA Akshay 0 KEN 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2,0 153 U12 boys
134 NAGDA Ankush 0 KEN 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2,0 151 U12 boys
103 SATHYANARAYAN Tina 0 KEN 0 1 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 1,5 117 U12 girls
140 MOHAN Rahul 0 KEN 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2,0 144 U14 boys
102 RAMMOHAN Vaishnavi 0 KEN 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 2,0 110 U14 girls
106 CHEGE Allan 0 KEN 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0,5 124 U16 boys
92 MIMANO Esther 0 KEN 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 ½ 1,5 102 U16 girls

This young kenyan girl has captured the imagination of eveyone

[Site "Limra Hotel - Kemer/Antalya"]
[Date "2007.11.18"]
[Round "1.42"]
[White "Rosenthal, Jonathan"]
[Black "Chege, Allan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D06"]
[WhiteElo "2204"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2007.11.18"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d5 3. cxd5 Nxd5 4. e4 Nb4 5. Qa4+ N4c6 6. d5 Na6 7. dxc6 b6 8.
Bxa6 Bxa6 9. Qxa6 e6 10. Nc3 Bc5 11. Nf3 O-O 12. O-O Qd6 13. Qa4 a6 14. e5 Qe7
15. Qh4 Rab8 16. Ne4 Qxh4 17. Nxh4 Rfd8 18. Nf3 h6 19. Bd2 Be7 20. Be3 Bc5 21.
Rfd1 Rd5 22. Nc3 Rdd8 23. Ne4 Rd5 24. Rxd5 exd5 25. Nc3 Rd8 26. Rd1 Bxe3 27.
fxe3 Kf8 28. Rxd5 Ke8 29. Rxd8+ Kxd8 30. Nd5 a5 31. a4 Kc8 32. h4 g6 33. Kf2
Kd8 34. Nd4 Kc8 35. Kf3 h5 36. Ke4 Kd8 37. Nb5 1-0

[Site "Limra Hotel - Kemer/Antalya"]
[Date "2007.11.22"]
[Round "6.62"]
[White "Chege, Allan"]
[Black "Kurbanovs, Arturs"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B01"]
[PlyCount "30"]
[EventDate "2007.11.18"]
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bf5 6. Qe2 c6 7. Qd2 e6 8.
Bd3 Bxd3 9. Qxd3 Nbd7 10. O-O Bd6 11. Be3 Nd5 12. a3 Nxe3 13. fxe3 Nf6 14. b4
Qc7 15. e4 Be7 1/2-1/2

I will post more games and results at the end of this tournament plus i will create a PGN file of all kenyan games played.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Garry Kasparov being arrested.
Its a sad development but kasparov should have known better, as one blogger said Kasparov may not be "crazy," but he has a number of characteristics that show up in DSM IV. If he were not the world's greatest chess player, he'd just be a very unpleasant guy to be around, constantly trying to prove himself right about everything. The same goes for a very disproportionate number of chess players - all left brain, no emotional intelligence.


At the continuing chess world cup in Russia. The Egyptians produced the shocker in round 1. Egyptian GM Bassem demolished Ponomariov who fell apart in time trouble

Adopted from the daily dirt
It was mostly the usual slaughter on the top boards in the first round of the World Cup in Khanty-Mansyisk, Russia. The first cracks in the Elo pyramid started to appear on board seven, where Adams was nicked for a draw by Canada's Igor Zugic. Oh Canada. It got worse for the favorites on the next table over where Alekseev lost a sharp battle against the wonderfully named Anuar "Who You Callin' Borat Now?" Ismagambetov of Kazakhstan. Let's keep our fingers crossed for an Ismagambetov Gambit. Speaking of pyramids, an even bigger surprise was El Gindy's win over Ponomariov, who fell apart in time trouble and saw his king hunted to ground. That was the main highlight for Egypt on the day. I was startled to discover there are four Egyptians playing in the event. That's more than France or Germany. Hmm. They went 2.5-1.5 on day one.

Adly the world junior champion on his way to a draw

Over on board 11, Gata Kamsky couldn't take out newly minted world junior champ Ahmed Adly of Egypt with the white pieces. That was the leading indicator for a crash on the US market in general. The eight Americans went 3-5 on the day without a win. US champion Shabalov, Becerra, and Kudrin lost. Onischuk had the better of the draw with black against last year's junior champ Andriasian. Hungary's Hera obviously isn't a Dirt reader. He ignored the warning I posted in yesterday's item and was blindsided by Rublevsky's 17.d5! and the pretty shot 19.Qd7+! It takes a minute to figure out the point of 17.d5: 17..exd5 18.Na4! and the black queen is stuck and will be collected with Ra1 next. Great stuff. Inarkiev-Peralta is given as a draw after a few moves of N+B vs K, which surely didn't happen, unless Peralta flagged trying to remember the winning method. It got there from the rare 2B+N vs R.

The Egyptian Bassem with Ben Magana during the African championships in October

Friday, November 23, 2007


Here is a summary of the going ons in the kenyan chess circles.
1. The youth team is involved in the world youth championship ( see below).
2. Larry Kagambi lost the Makadara Civic seat on a PNU ticket. Nothing is known if he will decamp to another party or will throw in in the towel and settle for the Patzer politics of chess kenya.
3. Some kenyan players have placed wagers on who will wiin the world championships between Anand and Kramnik. Interesting stuff with Magana going for Kramnik am keeping my fingers crossed.
4. Finaaly checkmates club hosts THE RETURN OF THE PATZERS rapid tournament on sunday 25th November. Entry fee is Ksh 300 plus free lunch.

Larry Kagambi discovered he was still a patzer in real kenyan politics. The Grandmasters of makadara politics demoted larry to third place in the Harambee ward.


It is one of the biggest events of its kind in the world, the starting point for new chess talent, a gathering of young chess players, 1450 of them from 103 countries around the globe. The tournament in twelve separate categories is being held in twelve age groups for boys and girls. The kenyan team is represented well.

The World Youth Chess Championship 2007 is taking place in Kemer-Antalya, Turkey, between November the 17th, 2007 (arrival) and November the 29th, 2007 (departure). There are separate groups for girls and for boys, under 8, under 10, under 12, under 14, under 16 and under 18 years old.

The main playing hall

The organisers, the Turkish Chess Federation, has put together "one of the most professional competitions in the history of chess for the world youth championships". A total of 1450 players from 103 countries arrived in time for round one (two delegations are still expected), with more than a thousand accompanying parents, trainers, VIPs, TCF staff, journalists, etc. making a total of 2600 people, who are staying in the three official hotels, Limra, Alinda and Sailor's Beach. The numbers make this event the second largest in the country's history – certainly the biggest event staged with a single sport. The organisers are handling the onslaught with equanimity, having prepared for the possible arrival of up to 4,500 persons.

The celebrated kenyan youngster Peniel Weru in action

Tina Sathyanarayan the 12 year kenyan has been turning some eyebrows

It is a commendation for Chess Kenya to take such a high number of juniors to this world event. Although the perfomance has been dismall the exposure this youngsters have recived will surely come in handy in the future.

The official website has more information, pictures, games and standings. I will post the full final standings and games at the end of the tournament.

A young kenyan girl records memories of a lifetime

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Domo, Domo, Domo And The Rusha Mawe Philosophy

Kenya is abuzz with politics. the political fevers are rising and with the general election in 38 days they can only get higher.
but chess is still active. The main talking points of the local chess scene include
1. The organization of the Dresden Olympiad.
2. The Kenya national chess league
3. Chess Kenya new constitution
4. Horrid tales of Kenyan chess players during Olympiads.

All this and much more stuff on local chess scene can be found at the Kenya chess forum.

Internationally Paul Hoffman has written a great article in the Washington post on chess cheating. Chessbase has an interesting article on Ahmed Adly the newly crowned world junior champion from Egypt.

And finally George 'rusha mawe' Githinji went down as the shortest reigning Kenya unofficial blitz champion.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Lucky Dube a great African musician died on Friday aged 43. His music is a great part of my chess heritage. My friend Samuel Chebii introduced me to his music and I introduced him to chess. One part of this unique equation has been taken.

Lucky dube one of Africa’s greatest stars was shot dead in South Africa on Friday after an attempted car jacking incident. He was 43. Dube was one of Africa’s great reggae stars whose music transverse all continents and whose songs played a pivotal role in the struggle aganaist apartheid.


Ministers of religion
have visited me many times
to talk about it
They say to me
I gotta leave it I gotta leave it
It's a bad habit
for a man
But when I try to leave it
my friends keep telling me
I'm a fool amongst fools

Now I'm a slave, a slave
I'm a slave
I'm a liquor slave

Luky dube in the song slave

I know most of my readers are wondering why I am writing about music in a chess blog. But lucky dube and chess to me are so entwined. Although I will always be posting on chess I want to take readers back on memory lane where lucky dube, chess and I met.

Deep in the winding hills and the beautiful countryside of the rift valley in Kenya lies what the early European settlers called the white highlands. In this land reminiscent of the British Isles countryside, early settlers found a home away from home. They led a lifestyle similar to that in Britain; reared ashire and freshian cattle, planted rose flowers, built churches and yes played cricket.

After independence in 1963 Kenyan natives were resettled in these farms and my grandfather was a beneficiary and this is where I was born. I completed college in 2002 and I did not get a job immediately so for one year I had time that completely altered my chess life.

Samuel chebii had also completed college but did not also have a job and one day he made a remark that no one could beat him in chess. We did not have a board to prove this so we looked for wood and carved out pieces that looked similar to chess pieces. For the board we cut out a carton box and used red paint to color the dark squares. Within 2 days the board was complete and our first game was underway. I crashed him in 15 moves, that day we played 17 games and I won 17 - 0. You see he was a complete patzer but he could not believe how I won. We played daily for the next 6 months from 0800hrs to 2200 hrs averaging 19-25 games a day. We did not have clocks; I had never seen a chess book and no other person could play the game in the area.

In the evenings after playing long games and getting mentally tired we visited a local brews den to drink local alcohol. I did not drink myself but my friend was the real drinker of the local stuff called chang’aa. After a few bottles he would sing lucky dubes songs. He was so obsessed with lucky dube and chess that he compared lucky dube and chess in the slightest opportunity he could find. He explained to me how the creativity in dubes songs was compared to capablanca’s. He fed me this ideology everyday for so many months that I nearly accepted it. On our way home he would sing his songs that I got to know the lyrics although I had never had of the song.

Over a one year period his chess improved so dramatically that he was competing with me. We acquired some chess literature although we still used our old playing set. We argued about the universe, light, event horizon, chess, politics, women but on lucky dube and chess that is where we agreed.

So when I received the news of lucky dube’s death it was double mourning when I called my friend he just told me “chess is dead”. That represented how much chess and dube were so close to him and me.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


After a long break without a major tournament, Mombasa will this weekend be the venue for Kenyatta day tournament. The venue is not yet confirmed but the tournament is still on.

The historic fort Jesus in Mombasa is part of the rich heritage in the East African port town. The Mombasa open will mark a return of major tournaments in the Kenyan chess scene.


Egyptian GM Ahmed adly is the new world junior chess champion. Adly won the event after scoring 10/13 in the tournament held in Armenia.

Many Kenyan chess players are familiar with Adly having been defeated by Ben Magana in Namibia during the African individual chess championships.

Final Standings.
Ahmed 10
Popov 9.5
Hao, Andreikin 9.
Meier, Pashikian, Rodshtein, Negi, Jones 8.5


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


You have all seen it somewhere, a board in a book with the king on the wrong square or a board with the left square being a light square and many more. But if you thought this was stuff of only third rate publishing houses, you are in for a surprise. Even at the top level things sometimes go awfully wrong.

When i first learned how to play chess, we had arguments about how the board should be arranged and the positioning of the king and the queen. The general confusion arose due to the diagrammatic representation on the chess sets outer cover. Some of us took the diagrams to be a point of reference for we did not have another way of confirming. It took us quite a while to realize what was correct. Chess representation in non chess media has always been wrong. Presented here are the collectors collection of this theme.

At the top most level things are not always correct. During the Kramnik - Leko match in 2004 the creators of the logo placed the king in the wrong square. Whatever happened is truly amazing i cant think of anything to equate it to.

But the above error is not confined to 2004 only. During the 1962 candidate matches, the poster was used. This is truly frightening. The board is not properly set, black pieces are on the bottom and the left square is white! Absolutely amazing stuff from chess organizers.

Chess publishers often get things wrong as seen above. But the picture in the bottom book is so terrifying i wonder if its from a chess game. I cant figure out who is black and who is white.

But horrors never cease. In this apocalyptic heading from 1997 inside chess, IBM's deep blue had defeated Kasparov but the all smiling Dr CJ Tan the non playing captain of the IBM team is seating next to a board with the king in the wrong square. I wonder maybe the computer interface for the game was similar.

But we end in a lighter note, whatever those guys are saying is the story for another day but they have what looks like a chess clock or is it?


Sunday, October 14, 2007


I got this pictures from this interesting website . It also has many historical pictures.

The pictures show russel playing chess with his son and wife.


It is interesting times for black chess players. After Amon Simutowe became a GM elect now Pontus carlsson Has become the second black man to achive GM title.

The chess drum
The drum blog

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I have never read a more passionate and touching article than this of one Tom Murphy a street chess hustler in Washington D.C. The days and knights of tom Murphy by Scott wells appeared in the Washington post and has received such wild acclaim for the personal touch.

Tom Murphy of 'Dupont chess university', seated gives a talk.

With no bank account, mobile phone, or home you would expect tom Murphy to be unhappy. But his joy is chess. An encyclopedia of chess as one student described him, his story is a must read.
READ ABOUT TOM MURPHY THE PROFESSOR AT Chess University of Dupont Circle.

The chess drum blog. comments and views
The chess drum: review
Urbanagora; comments


Everyone is talking about a renaissance in African chess. After Amon Simutowe earned his final GM norm Scott johnson was is Namibia for the African individual chess championships. And in his report appearing in Newsweek he talks passionately on African chess.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007



Akello Atwoli far left and the Kenyan contingent to the all African games in July.

Akello atwoli is showing the old boys that their time is up. The university of nairobi student won the Kim Bahri organized event at the Nairobi gymkhana ahead of veterans like Ben Magana and Mehul Gohil.Akello should be proud but i used to "karanga" him like a patzer 2 years ago.


After Paul Maloba unearthed street chess players in Nairobi, this theme seems to be very popular. The New York times and the Washington Post have done comprehensive articles on this topic plus the one and only Larry Khaduli has unearthed more in Siaya!

Little Daddy, who said he started playing street chess in 1976, said he won about 80 percent of the time. A crucial part of the game is not to win too quickly, he said. “You make the games close,” he said. “You don’t want to crush them. You want to leave their ego intact, because you want to keep them coming back.”

In my recent visit to Uhuru estate, Jeri, I met the real street chess.a group of chess players, Geoffrey omondi- currently at Strathmore University, Bruno (The master drawer)- Am told he is more Drawcula than Singe, Ngunjiri Harry- Formerly of Moi University, Tom Amwai - formerly of Moi University, Jose and two other guys whos names I've forgotten.READ MORE

Paul Maloba and pals playing chess. Larry Khaduli whose article is written below is seated on the right.

Russian Paul and Little Daddy – the NYC chess scene
September is a time of rebirth for chess. With schools back in session, students are returning to their chess clubs. Some of those students may be dreaming of vying for the title, now held by Vladimir Kramnik. More likely is that they will someday vie for a few dollars in Union Square Park in Lower Manhattan against the likes of a man known as Russian Paul. The New York Times reports.

The Days and Knights of Tom Murphy
Chess players and hustlers come from all over to be part of Dupont Circle's famed scene. For some, leaving is much harder.
By Wells Tower
Sunday, September 30, 2007; Page W08

IN DUPONT CIRCLE, AN INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING HAS BEEN OPERATING UNOFFICIALLY ALONG THE PARK'S EASTERN PERIMETER FOR THE PAST THREE DECADES OR SO. Known to its habitues as the Chess University of Dupont Circle, the school has neither walls nor accreditation. Its campus and physical plant consist of little more than the 10 uncomfortable concrete table-and-chair sets that line the arc of sidewalk on the circle between New Hampshire Avenue and P Street NW. READ MORE

street chess? no way, here we talk of footpaths etc......its simply chess.i have just received a call from an old friend JOS ,we met and actually were both very active members of eldoret chess club,ambasi, muge ,maloba ,lukoye, mwashe na wengine might remember the guy,
he is now teaching somewhere in siaya........geography/mathematics and yes oh yes CHESS!!
who is that who was doubting the Extend to which chess is played?
he has already assembled 15 chess players who meet regularly ,they include teachers, students and local professionals,
now this are the true scouts, working away from any limelight.......but their contribution is priceless ,
JOS tells me he has two pressing issues that are stunting the development of the game
1.he has only one chess board...during full house ,a guy waits for eternity to get his turn
2.they are moving to the next level and need a constitution to register a chess club.

i need people to walk with me and provide some support,
please talk to me singe ,we need some boards ,destination siaya...
johny, can i get some copies of constitutions ck ,or whatever.......

Saturday, October 6, 2007


As we look back at Annand winning the world championship, our very own John Mukabi played annand in 1988 Olympiad in Thessaloníki . Here is the game plus a few annotations.

[Event "Thessaloníki olympiad"][Site "Thessaloníki"][Date "1988.??.??"]
[Round "2"][White "Mukabi, J."][Black "Anand, V."][Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C68"][BlackElo "2555"][Annotator "korir"][PlyCount "130"]

1. e4 1... e5
{Opening = C68 - Spanisch-Abtauschvariante /Ruy Lopez-Exchange Variation}
2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. Nc3 f6 6. d4 exd4 7. Qxd4 Qxd4 8. Nxd4 Bd6 9. Be3
{a fairly common position played by alekhine and lasker.}

(9. Nde2 Ne7 10. Bf4 10... Be6 {alekhine-teichmann})

9... Ne7 10. f3
(10. O-O-O O-O 11. Nb3 11...Ng6 {alekhine-lasker})
10... O-O 11. O-O-O Ng6 12. g3 Re8 13. Nb3 Bb4 14. Bd4 b6 15. a3 Bf8 16. f4
(16. h4)
]16... Bb7 17. Rhe1
{with blacks light squared bishop on b7, and ...c5 eventually to be played whites rook on h1 will have to move.}
17... Rad8
{annand delays c5 for as long as he can to develop his pieces.}
18. Bf2 c5 19.Rxd8 Rxd8 20. Nd2
(20. h4)
(20. Rd1 Rxd1+ (20... Bd6 21. Nd2 (21. h4 h5) 21...b5) 21. Kxd1 21... Bd6 {leads to a minor piece middle and endgame})
20... Ne7 21. g4 21... Ng6
{f5 will not be able to boot the knight as it will now have an outpost on e5}

22. Bg3 Bd6 23. e5 fxe5 24. fxe5 Be7 25. Nc4
(25. e6 !?)
25... Bf3 26. e6 Rc8
(26... Bxg4 27. Bxc7 Re8 28. Ne4)
27. Ne3 27... c6
(27... Bg5 28. Kb1)

28. h3
{mukabi has played well. his pieces are more active and blacks uncoordinated pieces are still looking for what to do}
28... Bg5 29. Kb1 Re8 30. Nc4 Nf8 31. Nxb6 Rxe6 32. Rxe6 Nxe6 33. Nd7 Bg2 34. h4 Be3 35. Nd1 Bd2 36.Nf2
{blacks double bishops are making life hard for white.}

36... c4 37. Ne5 Bd5 38. c3 Nc5 39. g5 Na4 40. Kc2 Be3 41. Nxc4 Bxc4 42. b3 Bb5 43. bxa4
(43. c4 Bxc4 (43... Nc5 44. cxb5 cxb5) 44. bxc4)
43... Bxa4+ 44. Kb2 44... Kf7

{so far the game is evenly balanced. blacks bishop pair seem to be the only
strong point but with good play this should be a draw.}

45. Ng4 Bc5 46. Ne5+ Ke6 47. Nd3 47... Be7
{whites knight harass black pieces, but for how long?}

48. Nb4
{the knight will soon run out of squares.}
(48. c4 Kf5 49. Bf2 49...Kg4 {leads to very sharp play})
48... a5 49. Nd3 Bb5 50. Nf2 Kf5 51. a4

{I cant figure out what this pawn sac was for, this gives black a definite
(51. Nd1 51... Bc5 ) 51... Bxa4 {Black gets the initiative}
(52. c4 h6 53. gxh6 53... gxh6 )
52... h6
{as the bishop abandons its defensive duty, blacks centralized king causes mayhem on the king side }

53. gxh6 gxh6 54. h5 Bh4 55. Nd3 Bb5 56. Nc5
{with a series of forcing moves annand is able to maintain his advantage and threaten to win a second pawn. black is now winning}

(56. Ne5 )
56... Be7
(56... a4 57. c4)
57. Bb6
(57. Nd7 a4 58. Ne5 58... Bg5 )
57... a4 58. Ka3 Kg4 59. Kb4 59... Kxh5
{with both black bishops still on the board, blockading of the passed h pawn
will be an impossibility}
60. c4 Ba6
(60... Kg4 61. cxb5 cxb5 62. Kxb5 )
({even here black wins} 60... a3 61. cxb5 (61. Kxa3 Bxc4) 61... a2 62. bxc6 a1=Q)
61. Kc3
(61. Kxa4 Bxc4 62. Kb4 62... Bd5 )
61... Bxc5
(61... Bf6+ 62. Kb4 a3 63. Kxa3 (63. Nxa6 63... a2 64. Nb8 a1=Q 65. Nxc6 Qb2+ 66. Ka5 66... Kg4 ) 63... Bxc4 64. Kb4 )
62. Bxc5 Kg4 63. Bd6 h5
(63... Bxc4 64. Kxc4 Kf3 65. Kb4) 64. Kd4 (64. Kb4 64... h4 )
64... h4 65. Kc5
(65. Kc3 Bxc4 66. Kxc4 )
65... a3
{Threatens Kf5}
(65... a3 66. Kxc6 66... a2 (66... Bxc4 67. Bxa3 Kf5 68. Be7 ))


Chess Kenya problems may be a thing of the past for one Larry Kagambi. He is joining the real politics now. After his chess kenya stint as the secretary general, larry is eying the Makadara civic seat.

Larry Kagambi

In an interesting article Oscar Pilipili takes us through the romance of sports and politics in this election year. Read it all here

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Collins Apiri son of legendary chess player Philip Apiri lost to Peniel weru in the boys under 10 championships. The tournament served as a qualifier for World youth championships to be held in Ankara,turkey from November 17.

Peniel Weru

By Sammy Kitula
Kenya's national boys' under-10 chess champion, Collins Apiri failed to make the team to the World Youth Championships to be held in Ankara, Turkey, from November 17 during the trials held at the Little Angels' Day Care Centre in Parklands, Nairobi.

It was a sweet revenge for Peniel Weru who defeated his perennial rival Apiri who had edged him out at a tournament earlier in the year, to grab the ticket to Turkey.

Weru amassed 5.5 points, with Apiri settling for fourth position on three. In what went down on record as the day's biggest upset, reigning national boys' under-12 champion, Ankush Nagda, failed to impress, falling by a point to his twin brother Akshay Nagda who won the category with six points.

In the girls' under-16 category, Esther Mimano qualified for the World Youth Championship without breaking sweat after her would be opponents failed to honour the match, while the girls' under-12 game will be repeated this weekend after Rivani Shah, Maureen Mbwaya and Tina Sathyanarayan all tied on three points.

Fridah Ngwaya amassed three points to qualify in the girls' under-eight contest with Dominic Nyonje claiming the boys' title in the same category with 2.5 points.

Rahul Mohan bagged the boys' under-14 title with four points after being declared the winner with a better head-to-head record against Aneurin Howarth, while Vaishnavi Rammohan amassed four points to take the girls' title in the same category.

In other results of the tournament, Allan Chege took the boys' under-16, Devisalini Sivaraj winning the girls' under-18 category and Leona Asiema taking the girls' under-10 title.


One of the Kenyan chess players i have so much respect for is Paul Maloba. He is the one who started the Kenya chess forum, went to the streets and unearthed a new breed of chess players e.t.c. so when he speaks i turn to listen. Here is his take on the recent discussion on the way forward for Kenyan chess.

Kim Bahri initially commented this on this chess blog:
I had promised myself not to get involved in chess politics after 1999 but after 8 years I see the same issue. Chess players in Kenya are just trying to dig a hole in water. I have gone through the constitution and found it to be a much better document than the one we had many years ago. Why waste so much time and energy doing another constitution?? We are writing a new constitution to fit chess players who have ignored the current one. Will the new one be followed. Never , Never Never. Turmoil will continue as it has since the first chairman was there. His name was Mr Sikand by the way.

The way forward is as follows;

1 The National chess league be set up by teams paying the membership fee that is set out in the constitution ie Ksh 15k for corporates and 5k for non corporates.
2. The school league be set up with the schools paying Ksh 5k
3. The provincial branches for Nyanza, Nairobi and Rift valley can be set up without much effort. We have Shakeel in Kisumu, Korir in Eldoret and we have many people for the Nairobi Province.
4 CK should co-opt two people into the committee to help in organizing these two leagues which are LONG LONG overdue
5. The elections are then held under the new constitution in Feb 2008 by which time the league is well underway.
6. Only authorized delegates will then be allowed into the voting hall. This idea of all chess players turning up at AGM is completely wrong. Can you imagine all hockey players going to city park for elections. the Riot police will clobber all you little pawns and chase you back to your Rooks. Or Kasparov and Karpov going for the Russian Chess Federation AGM. Guys let us be serious.

Guys the game of chess is suffering. Sponsors are not interested in fancy documents they want to see action on the board. the silent majority want to castle long, castle short, capture, check and checkmate!

I will be sending a letter of protest to the sports council on how they have handled this affair.

Paul Maloba's take:
I must admit that it makes a really sad reading I read mail of people complaining (quite positive) but shy away when it comes to forging the way forward (yaliyopita si ndwele).
problem two with us comes with walking the talk!! which is most important.

These ideas are brilliant, I hope whatever office in place will not forget them. also in addition to Ambasi's ideas below...

Goals would include the following:

i) When do we target to have a Grand Master? How much do we think it will take. If we are to seek sponsorship for the same, how much would we be asking for?

ii) Revival of the national league,

iii) Chess in schools

iv) coverage of Chess in the press.

v) having international arbiters from Kenya

vi) making Chess an employer.

When an incumbent offices focuses on such issues then we will make great progress

what I disagree with you however is the tagging of this idea to the incumbent office. Expecting this office to act in my opinion will be a tall order, this year we have seen very little (at least junior championships haven't suffered as much- lets just hope there will be continuity and they'll grow to be strong GMs).

Leadership takes ownership and working with the team (in office), marshaling resources to see ideas through. I was really saddened by the cancellation of Neils tournament, together with Magana we tried making sense of the two camps because noise that halts the game is unproductive. Whatever the reasons that CK might have had, this tournament would've been a great plus to them and more importantly to chess. My point is I doubt the current office can pull this ideas off.

Contrary to what Mehul says, the current constitution looks ok on membership, and payment of Sh.2,400 for a period of 1 year is manageable. Unfortunately the current situation is that there is zero activity, so there is no incentive to pay, but with leagues setup and frequent tournaments you are either a member or you are not a chess player! this should be the ideal situation and perhaps we should include this clause for membership qualification.

why did everyone show up for the AGM? to answer Kim, we love chess and we needed action injected, we couldn't just sit at home and expect things to be different (plus Obutu saga). but you guys were not paid up members...? yes we weren't but we are stakeholders all the same, we couldn't just complain and sit on our backs.

I greatly disagree with you Kim that you'll complain to sports council (so how will this help chess? or how will it not help chess?)- lets not forget that its such actions that stopped previous chess sponsorships, Further more the resolution to to amend the constitution was reached by members present and the current office (This was quite mature of the current office unlike th saga experienced in the past according to memoirs of Mukabi) SC was just a mediator. The idea is to improve things not to worsen them.

lastly I'd like to point out the obsession of Mehul to Kim and Rodriguez, yes they had success in tournaments, but this doesn't mean that only them can do the job, they had negatives too!
In my opinion, having them run (with executive authority) tournament or league projects would be a great idea.

Otherwise the organization for the tournament on Saturday is noble, and am looking forward to flex my muscles against the high and mighty, the problem with weak tournaments is that you have the first two easy rounds, two rounds that follow are fought then the last two are fixed: you actually end playing two rounds only. Perhaps next time a rating list can be used for invitation and thus Khaduli, Me (I applied for a wild card),George Mwangi,Jonah,Isoe... etc wouldn't be missing and thus make it stronger.


An effortless 20-move draw against Peter Leko clinched it: Indias's Viswanathan Anand won the World Championship in Mexico City 2007 to become the undisputed World Chess Champion.


More info:
Susan polgars blog

offical website

Monday, September 24, 2007


The chess Kenya AGM held on Saturday caused a lot of complications that the elections were postponed for 3 months. Here are my views on the whole saga.
1. The present chess Kenya administration has done little to boost chess in Kenya
2. Kenyan chess players must play by the rules, if the constitution says you have to be a member to vote then the rule stands.
3. The 'Nairobi chess clique think they are the only ones to run chess in Kenya.
4. To attract sponsorship all this issues have to be sorted out
5. The chairman must be someone of high repute and one who can woo sponsors.
6. Active chess players should not be elected to demanding jobs
7. The all African games debacle shows how corrupt the present CK administration is.
8. A new breed of brilliant leaders must be elected but not the checkmates radicals who are trying a revolution that will eventually be more corrupt than the current one



By Mehul Gohil
The AGM happened. No, elections did not happen...the chess players managed to create enough complications so as not to give Stanley Luruti that sort of satisfaction. What happened was that the ChessKenya constitution was exposed as being so rubbish that the elections were postponed for 3 months so that membership criteria as regards the constitution can be overhauled and a fresh take put in place.

I was there for an hour over a lunch break and this is what I witnessed (In No particular Order):


The Hero of the whole day. Just when everyone thought he was the biggest noise maker in Kenyan CHess History the guy actually showed what a professional he was in these sorts of situations. His arguments were very good and it was clear from the faces of Larry Kagambi and Stanley Luruti that they were exasperated with the guy. He talked alot of sense and not surprisingly was made chairman of the committee that is to look into this crap consitution that we have.


I really feel sorry for this guy. You could see from his face and body posture how disillusioned he was with the whole thing. He pointed out to Larry and Stanley that there was no way kenyan would pay membership fees for ChessKenya without there being anything done in return by CK.


I knew that this dude stank but I had no idea he was a baboon as well. The man clearly had no bloody comprehension of why the AGM was taking place. His thoughts were totally out of place and he went rambling on about technicalities and other related nonsense. Clearly he has no conception of how to run a chess office simply because he has no idea what the Kenyan Chess Players want. He was being told what they wanted but obviously he was present there to only be reelected. I was shocked to realise that he lacks intelligence. Kagambi may be corrupt but at least he has that. This guy should be lynched...no kidding! I really hated the way he made the true chess players at the AGM feel like third class citizens who didn't deserve respect. Whenever they wanted to make a point he simply ignored them...Ben Magana actually had to tell him that he had been raising his hand for 30 minutes and Stanley was not letting him talk. He was dressed in a Suit, matching trousers, tie and shirt.


There was some discussion about a website that was designed by Hesbom Omanjo for ChessKenya and questions were asked why CK didn't operate a website in the 21st century. Apparently there were no 'funds' available to pay Hesbom for the site so the idea went under. I volunteered to explain the whole story but Stanley decided that the matter had already been discussed and didn't need further pursuing. However, some players decided I should be allowed to speak and I explained that I had seen the site Hesbom had designed and said that it was world class and comparable to the likes of ChessBase. I told the CK guys that it was so good that I asked Hesbom if I could buy it off. Hesbom initially indicated to me that he had commited the project to CK...3 months went by and Hesbom got in touch with me and said that CK was showing no interest in the website and asked if I still wanted it. I grabbed it with both hands (Launch expected in 2 weeks time). The cost. A paltry 5000/= an amount which CK had no 'funds' for...an amount they could not gather in 3 months! (And we expect them to get us corporate sponsors!)

What they did not understand was that it is really expensive to develop a quality website and Hesbom managed to get one done because he had amazing contacts withing the IT society...friends who decided to DESIGN THE WEBSITE FOR FREE SIMPLY BECAUSE HESBOM ASKED THEM TO. CK will probably spend 30-50k just to get any new website to the level of the one that I now own. I volunteered to give them free space on the website...they refused the idea. Too bad for them.


We have to realise that Larry is no fool. After all he is a stronger chess player than Steve Ouma and has been a former Kenya Champ. He was very diplomatic at the AGM. He also sounded sensible. He was ready to overlook any controversial 'email blogging' and ready to support anyone with boards cloks CK support etc...even CHeckmates and Radical personalities like myself. He was full of good sales pitches. However, despite all his cleverness he is a part of the evil forces and stands for alot of what is bad in Kenyan Chess....and thats why he will be hated.


I was not impressed by the absence of people (and friends) like Paul Maloba, Githinji, Khaduli and others. They were making such an emphasis that the players should all turn up in force. I was working on the day and actually wasn't going to make it to the AGM but made some small time...I thought I had to support what was right. I don't know if they turned up later on. The fact was, the true chess players were outnumbered by guys who I had never seen before. If it wasn;t for the pursuasiveness of Solman, Magana and Singe Luruti would already have been confirmed for another 4 years. Perhaps this lack of commitment to the game by players is one major reason why we are in the doldrums.


By Augustine Hwata

Chess International master Robert Gwaze is now aiming to become Zimbabwe's first ever grandmaster following his sensational win at the African Individual Chess Championship in Namibia last week.

The 2007 All-Africa Games silver medallist is now just one major championship win away from being crowned a grandmaster. For now, the 25-year-old is an international master but he is focusing on earning the prestigious title of grandmaster when he takes part at the World Championships in Minsk, Belarus in November. "The win in Namibia gave me my second grandmasters norm and if I manage to get a third norm, then I became a full grandmaster. "At the moment I have 2 413 points and need to reach 2 500 on the next championship so that I qualify to be a grandmaster. READ MORE


After 9 rounds Viswanathan Anand leads.With no loss so far and a 2900+ perfomance his challange may be unstoppable.

Current standings

The official website
news, vedios, pictures, GM commentary

GM blog

Friday, September 21, 2007


The 2007 chess Kenya AGM will take place tomorrow at the nyayo national stadium. Various lineups have been suggested with the likes of ken omollo and larry kagambi being suggested for chairman.


Ben Magana recently competed in the African championships in Namibia. on the way he defeated a GM. Although he failed to achieve 4.5/9 for FIDE master status he had a good outing.

By Ben Magana, Kenyan champion

Magana’s opponents:
Round 1: Simutowe (IM) 2421
Round 2: Adly (GM) 2488
Round 3: Walaa (IM) 2388
Round 4: Matewere
Round 5: Abdelnabi (IM) 2484
Round 6: Chitumbo (IM) 2163
Round 7: Adu (IM) 2294
Round 8: Nadir (CM) 2163
Round 9: Masango 2140

First of all, I would like to thank all players in Kenya that sent motivational and congratulatory messages on SMS and e-mail. Kenyan chess players were for once united in rallying behind something positive and encouraging for Kenyan chess.

I scored 3 points / 9 in a hugely strong and competitive field. Of the 9 players I played, one was a GM and 5 were IM’s. Of these, the Zambian Simutowe already has 3 GM norms and will get the GM title once his rating surpasses 2500. The 8 rated players I played had an average rating of 2318, which is way above any average I have encountered in any tournament – regional or international.

I started my tournament decently enough, scoring 3 / 6, but faded badly in the last 3 rounds with 3 losses, to finish with 3 / 9. There are several reasons for this:
1. My opponents were all extremely strong, even the 2100s!
2. I am used to 6- or 7-round events in Kenya, while this 9-rounder was too long for me and I lost concentration toward the end (burn-out)
3. My tournament preparation was very limited, as I had little chess literature and no laptop (extremely important for such situations) in Namibia

For lack of adequate historical fact, I would dare to assume that I am the first Kenyan player ever to beat a GM. The 20-year old Ahmed Adly from Egypt was the 2006 African champion, not to mention first (and long overdue) Egyptian to get the GM title. He was also a gold medallist at the recent 9th All Africa Games in Algiers. It was not at all easy beating this immensely talented Pharaoh, especially since he had lost his first round game and was in a BAD mood. But I had also lost my first game and was in a WORSE mood, hence not at all being intimidated by the GM title. So how does it feel for a nobody like me to (convincingly) beat a GM? It feels heavenly… in Namibia they were calling it A HOLE IN ONE for me. Like the classic David vs. Goliath duel that ended in a skull-shattering victory for the shepherd Jewish boy, my victory was for all the talented Kenyan players (past, present and future) who may ever feel psychologically inferior to titled players (IM, GM) whenever they square off in a game. ardy exchanged off his dark-squared bishop in an innocuous-looking position, but some wayward un-GM moves by him slowly gave me the edge. Exactly on move 25, I offered him a draw, which he promptly ignored. Ten moves later, the tables were turned – a nervous-looking and blushing GM mustered the best English he could to offer me a draw. I ignored him without batting an eyelid. The rest is history…

[Event "Africa Individual Championships"]
[Site "Windhoek, NAMIBIA"]
[Date "2007.09.02"]
[Round "2.15"]
[White "Magana, Ben"]
[Black "Adly, Ahmed"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B50"]
[WhiteElo "2151"]
[BlackElo "2488"]
[PlyCount "95"]
[WhiteTeam "KENYA"]
[BlackTeam "EGYPT"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. c3 Nf6 4. h3 g6 5. Bd3 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. Re1 Nc6 8. Bf1 Bd7 9. d4 cxd4 10. cxd4 d5 11. e5 Ne4 12. Nbd2 Bf5 13.Nb3 a5 14. a4 f6 15. exf6 Bxf6 16. Bh6 Rf7 17. Rc1 Qd6 18. Nc5 Nxc5 19. dxc5 Qd7 20. Ng5 Bxg5 21. Bxg5 e5 22. Bb5 e4 23. Bxc6 bxc6 24. Qd4 Rb8 25. Bd2
{Diagram #}
Qc7 26. Bc3 Rg7 27. Qd2 Rd7 28. Qd4 Rg7 29. Qd2 Re7 30. Bxa5 Qa7 31.b4 Rf7 32. Qd4 Re8 33. Rc3 h6 34. Ra1 g5 35. Rb3 Kh7 36. Bb6 Qa8 37. b5 Bd7 38.Bc7 Qb7 39. Bd6 Bc8 40. Rab1 Bd7 41. bxc6 Qxc6 42. a5 Qa8 {Diagram #}
43. Rb7 Qxa5 44. Qxd5 Kg6 45. Be5 Be6 46. Qxe4+ Bf5 47. R1b6+ Qxb6 48. Rxb6+ 1-0

To cap off an exciting tournament for me, I flummoxed, bamboozled and ultimately sneaked on the hugely talented Zambian IM Mwali Chitumbo in a losing position for myself. Chitumbo is the current Africa Junior chess champ, not to mention the Zambian champion, and silver medallist at the 9th All Africa Games – do not be fooled by his low 2163 rating. Now THAT victory was for all the Kenyan speed chess and blitz players who can string together a few decent moves – especially the vibrant members at Checkmates Chess Club (Githinji, et al). I jettisoned a pawn for an apparent attack. My position went from the HDU to the ICU, but in the process my opponent moved farther and farther back on the clock. Towards the end of the game, Mwali was playing on bare seconds. I guess pressure made him fall headlong into a poorly concealed mate trap!

[Event "Africa Individual Championships"]
[Site "Windhoek, NAMIBIA"]
[Date "2007.09.06"]
[Round "6.17"]
[White "Chitumbo, Mwali"]
[Black "Magana, Ben"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E01"]
[WhiteElo "2163"]
[BlackElo "2151"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[WhiteTeam "ZAMBIA"]
[BlackTeam "KENYA"]

1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. Nf3 Bd6 5. O-O O-O 6. d4 Nbd7 7. Qc2 c6 8. Rd1 Qe7 9. Nbd2 e5 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. Nxe5 Qxe5 13. Nf3 Qh5 14. Qb3 Be6 15. Qxb7 Bc5 16. Bf4 Ne4 17. e3 g5 18. Rxd5 Bxd5 19. Qxd5 Rad8 20. Qxe4 gxf4 21. gxf4 Rfe8 22. Qc2 Rd6 23. Ng5 Bb6 24. Bf3 Qh4 25. Qf5 Re7 26. Bd5 Qh5 27. Bf3 Qh4 28. Rc1 Rd2 29. Rf1 Bxe3 30. Qc8+ Kg7 31. Qc3+ Kg8 32. Qc8+ Kg7 33. Nh3 Bxf4 34. Kh1 Rd6 35. Bg4 Rg6 36.Bf5 Rg5 37. Nxg5 Qxh2# 0-1

Even though I did not get the needed 50% score to become a FIDE Master like Gateri, I feel I crossed a frontier that few get to experience. Thus, my defeat of Africa’s best was immensely more satisfying in this sense. I look forward to my next great HOLE IN ONE.
Before leaving for Namibia, I was asked what my aim for the event was. I looked forward to upsetting a few big names, as well as to finishing in a respectable position. Even though I did not quite achieve the latter aim, I more than made up for it by beating 2 African champions in one tournament – senior and junior.

As for what all this augurs for Kenyan chess, I think the future can only be brighter. There are many talented juniors out there who can go and do even more awe-inspiring things…

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


It seems chess titles are flying left right and centre and east africans are not left behind. steve kawuma recently gained FIDE master status. Who is next?

By Lambert Rusoke,Kampala

WIZARD Stephen Kawuma has achieved the status of FIDE Master(FM) following a splendid display against very highly rated titled players at the Africa Individual Chess Championship that just ended in Windhoek, Namibia over the weekend.

A FIDE Master is a prestigious title that precedes the International Master (IM) and later the Grand Master (GM).

Kawuma beat Mozambique's Chambule Pedro Lucas in the 7th round before losing to Zambia's Chumfwe Stanley in the 8th round.

The Ugandan recovered to beat FM Alice Mateus Felizardo Viageirof in the 9th and final round to finish with 4.5 points out of 9.

A 50% performance in such a highly rated tournament featuring the continent's top players grants a player the right to become a FIDE Master (FM).

more info:
Monitor Newspaper


As we approach the chess Kenya AGM, john mukabi has gone down memory lane to bring us up to date with some history of Kenyan chess. Enjoy this wonderful reading from the beast.

John Mukabi with Nigel short.

By John 'the beast' mukabi
The association (formerly Kenya Chess Association) was formed some 31 years ago this month in September 1976. I was in primary school then!?

1976-197?: An Asian descent man whom little is known ran it til late '70s. It is reported the association was too new to go to the Olympiad that year in Argentina.

1979?-1989: Madan Gopal Sharma a famous lawyer. I arrived in the scene around 1982 to find an aura of secrecy regarding who other officials were. It was like a "state secret". Clement Miheso and Alslam Adam (now in England) were visible "officials" in tournaments.

Olympiad teams were handpicked from tournament results used to get airtickets easily & mysteriously through MG as he was known via FIDE and Kenya National Sports Council. It is said he was their lawyer.

At the time Aluta Chess Club ( from French aluta continua or "the struggle continues") came about to counter Nairobi Chess Club which was mainly Asians and Whites.

Largest tournement was Pan Paper Open (now Kenya Open) brought by Nairobi Chess Club (1979-1992). Aluta brought in ART (African Retail Traders) Open 1984 to early '90s.
The chess league was nationwide in Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nyeri and Webuye mainly 1986-1990. Had about 15 teams mostly financial institions. So vibrant was chess that toournaments had upto 120 players.

International Master Lodewijk Prins (Holland), a Hungarian IM and GM Jaime Sunya Neto visted Kenya for simuls between 1986 and 1989. Also former Junior British Champ Allan Baker came finishing 2nd behing Uganda's Emmanuel Kabuye.

Juniors Peter Kihara and William Juma Arogo represented Kenya in Lagos, Nigeria, with Juma coming second!

1989-1992: Clement Miheso came in with the Esso School Championships which were in Nakuru, Mombasa and Nairobi. An annual event til 1993. As a result FIDE awarded Nairobi the African Junior Championship in 1992 and 1993. Aderito Pedro of Angola won the 1993 edition.

Also in the event among Kenyans were Matthew Kanegeni and Evanson Mwangi.
1990 saw Kenya play in first FIDE rated in Kampala where Lawrence Kagambi (present CK Secretary played). I got ELO 2215. William Juma again went for the junior event in Harare, Zimbabwe, same year.

Miheso began to get corrupt so much that he gave bouncing cheques to winners of Panpaper. Players camped at the sponsors' office. Panpaper withdrew for good!

It so happened by then that Miheso controlled bank accounts of KCA, Aluta and Nairobi CC and reported to have have bought a car from one of the two FIDE events.He was kicked out by a landslide in 1993 elections.

1993-1996: The late Tom Sagwe who was MD at ART and among founding fathers of Aluta took over. He was largely absent concentrating on politics leaving all the spadework to his vice Francis Caetano Rodriguez.

Kenya held and international 1993 Africa Juniors under new office and alongside it staged an International Open which was 1-2-3 won by Angolans among them IM Nascimento.

I was sent to the Africa Individual Mens' Championship by KCA in Cairo, Egypt. KNSC supplied the airticket. The Panpaper changed its name to Kenya Open. The 1993 edition at Braeburn School had highest number of entries in East and Central Africa at 250!

By this time, the Kenyan economy was limping while the Goldenberg affair (unknown to the public at the time) quietly went on. Sponsors were hard to come by. This saw Kenya miss out for the first time from the world chess Olympiads - 1992, 1994 and 1996.

This culminated in the 1994 Kenya Open fail to take place for the first time since 1979. However, great cal-IBM Kenya Open of 1995 at The Grand Regency Hotel in Nairobi attracted about 150 players from Uganda and South Africa (Lyndon Bouah) among others.

I recall Daniels Lauritsen taking part and he placed 2nd or 3rd. In 1996 the Kenya Open at Nairobi Gymkhana was won by South African IM Watu Kobese followed by compatriot FM Shabbir Bhawoodien.

1996-1999: FCA Rodriguez was elected the new KCA chairman. Sponsorship was still a problem but after a lot of struggles, Kenya hosted the 1997 Africa Junior Championship won by 16-year-old Amon Simutowe of Zambia.

The office experienced a number of scams involving the selling of chess sets, literature and clocks donated by FIDE and the German government. Also, the Indian Ocean Olympiad scam where some officials and their spouses went to represent Kenya in Reunion or Mauritius!

Meanwhile, Kenya was being represented in the Africa Individual Mens 1996/1997 by Humphrey Andolo, the late Alexander Makatia, Joseph Kanyingi, Ben Magana and Kenneth Omolo.

In bid to make amends, the office managed to send a team to the Olympiad in 1998 in Elista, Kalmykia, Russia. This was not enough to save them from wrath of players who voted them out in 1999.

1999-2003: In came Lincoln Njenga elected at AGM after postponement due to membership crisis AGAIN! He started off very strongly only to fade off as usual like his predecessors.

First was to set Kenya Anti Corruption Authority (KACA) on the FCA Rodriguez and company on all assets with documentary evidence. FCA "submerged", even appearing to change residence and recovery was in vain.

It further emerged that previous office maintained oddly two bank accounts at Biashara Bank - one where the treasurer was a signatory and other where he was not even aware! Approximately KShs 90,000/= was withdrawn days before the AGM which threw them out.

Anyway, Njenga's watch saw the highest prize monies in KCA's history. Started with the great Eldoret Open in 2000 organised in conjunction with Eldoret Chess Club. Top prize KShs. 40,000/= (was meant to be KShs 100,000/= but some sponsors did not honour pledge).

Then came the much talked about Tusker Malt Open by Kenya Breweries the same year in September at The Stanley. Top prize was KShs. 40,000/= though overall sponsorship was KShs 800,000/=.

It was awarded best organised tournament by FIDE with aggressive marketing in the print and electronic media, banners on main streets, etc. Opening ceremony featured dancers on a giant chessboard like many Olympiads. Challengers section was introduced to Kenyan chess.

The Istanbul (Turkey) Olympiad of 2000 was partly sponsored by Kenya Breweries and for the first time in years no players were asked chip in for their airtickets.

The Regional event in 1991 was the highest of cash prizes with top getting KShs 50,000/= won by Bob Bibasa of Uganda. The youth programes were revived for both primary schools and secondary with sponsors Athi River Mining Company (Rhino Cement) and Fidelity Commercial Bank for two years. Juniors were sent every year to world events as a result.

The national league, which seems to have disappeared large scale with Miheso in early '90s, was revived for one season attracting about ten teams. The Monthly Mug Rapids were also introduced but died out after months.

Problems started when no major tournament was organised by CK in 2002 leading to agitation of the office's removal. Only four players were sent to Olympiad of 2002 in Bled, Slovenia, Rhino Cement pulled out of primary schools training program, etc.

Despite being the first office to present fully audited accounts in the AGM of 2003, the wave was too much leading to the new office being voted in. Again, the membership problem surfaced!

2003-????: Stanley Luruti who was last in chess in 1991 with ICIPE Chess club was voted in as chairman with a narrow win over Fred Nabangi.

As you all know he appears to be largely absent but his watch revived a magazine for the association which went on for a year then faded. The rest I leave to you to judge in the coming AGM.

Friday, September 14, 2007




The 2007 world chess championships have started in mexico city.

Vladimir Kramnik
Peter Svidler
Alexander Morozevich
Levon Aronian
Viswanathan Anand
Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk
Peter Leko

official website
Live games, news and analysis chessbase

Robert Gwaze is the African Champion

ZIMBABWE'S International Master Robert Gwaze was crowned the new African Individual Chess Champion on Monday night after emerging undefeated in the 10-day tournament.

Gwaze (25) will now represent Africa at the World Chess Championship in Russia in November. He beat 50 other top African players including Egyptian Grand Masters Slim Belkhodja, Amin Bassem and Ahmed Adly, among others.He is now rated top GM norm, and will become a Grand Master if he wins his next competitive tournament.

This will take to 2 the number of african grandmasters from sub saharan africa after Amon Simutowe

the chess drum

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Dear Members,

I refer you to the above subject and inform you that this year's Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday,22nd September 2007 at the Kenya National Sports Council's boardroom,Nyayo National Stadium starting at 10:00am.

The Agenda will be:

i) To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting

ii) To discuss and conclude any matters arising thereupon

iii) To receive and adopt the Report of the Chairperson,the Treasurer,and the Annual Statements of Accounts

iv) To hold elections for members of the Executive Committee

v) To Appoint the auditors for the Society

vi) To Adopt or reject any resolutions received by the General Secretary within at least fourteen(14) days' written notice in advance of the meeting

With warm regards,

Lawrence Kagambi
General Secretary

PS: Due to engagements related to the 9th All Africa Games,we could not convene the AGM as per the constitution and kindly ask you for your understanding.More information on the elections to be released soon.See attachment for upcoming events.


Being a military man i have been keenly following the NATO chess championships. But Elisabeth Pähtz is leading the championship.

Think she can play chess?


Gm Ben Magana?

Kenya number 1 Ben Magana is competing in the african championships being held in wendihoek Namibia. His perfomance so far has been interesting.

After winning the recent checkmates championships with a 7/7 score, Ben magana headed down south to compete aganaist the best of africa. In round 1 he was grounded to a halt by GM amon simutowe but in round 2 as mehul put it
"You have managed to achieve the task which the strongest players in Kenya, stretching from Saif kanani to Humphrey Andolo, failed to achieve -- that of becoming the first Kenyan to beat a Grandmaster in proper over the board chess."

the tournament is ongoning and more results will be posted ASAP.


Ben's perfomance so far
Rd. SNo Name Rtg FED Pts. Res.
1 7 IM Simutowe Amon 2421 ZAM 3,5 s 0
2 3 GM Adly Ahmed 2488 EGY 2,0 w 1
3 9 IM Sarwat Walaa 2388 EGY 3,0 s 0
4 41 Matewere Henry 0 MAW 1,0 w 1
5 4 IM Abdelnabbi Imed 2484 EGY 2,0 w

GM Amon Simutowe

Amon simutowe has become the first man from sub-saharn Africa to achive GM status. The zambezi shark achived this noble feat at the Euwe Stimulans.

more info:
The GM journey of Amon Simutowe
Simutowe is a GM
Amon Simutowe Biography

Thursday, August 16, 2007



1st Prize: Kshs 5000/= + Trophy
2nd Prize: Kshs 3000/=
3rd Prize: Kshs 2000/=
All the above prizes are guaranteed


Early payment (Before 9:00am 18th August)
KSHS 300/=
Late payment (After 9:00am 18th August)
KSHS 500/=
Payment of entry fees includes FREE LUNCH.


7 Rounds Swiss System. 25min per game/per player.

Round 1 will start at 10:00am SHARP. Please be warned that this timing is non-negotiable and Checkmates Chess Club will not follow the routine of other chess tournaments by beggining only when there is sufficient quorum. Even if only 3 players are present the tournament will kick off.Deadline for registering for ROUND 1 is 9:30am. Those who register later will be forced to miss round 1 and still have to pay the more expensive late entry fee of Kshs. 500/=. No nonsense on this issue will be tolerated.


9:00am - 9:30am: Elections of club officials. *
9:30am - 10:00am: Pairings for RD1 and Players to discuss FIDE Rapid Rules.
10:00am - 1:00pm: RD 1 - RD 3
1:00pm - 2:00pm: Lunch
2:00pm - 6:00pm: RD 4 - RD 7
6:00pm - 6:30pm: Prize Giving


After paul Malobas venture into one of Kenya's estates and discovering some street chess players, a lively discussion has been kicked off at Kenyan chess forums.
full discussion at http://groups.google.com/group/kenya-chess-forum/topics?hl=en

"When I describe Kenyan chess as Patzerish its coz we are extra weak thanks to the dilapidation done by CK. Its so serious that Kenya was referred to as Kenya Tome at the just concluded AAG. What a shame, but thank
goodness, a Mr Nguku, soon to be an IM, is busy working on Fritz 10 and am
sure will raise the levo... lol" Githinji Hinga


Malonye this is great news i think this are the places we will get IM's and even GM's in Future ....My suggestion is please tell this guys to Organize themselves in the form of a Club....I will give them two Chess sets each club for free and for such Clubs a board will cost them 500... books are not a problem i can always photocopy those i have and give them a copy. Good Scouting Job Malonye

I think these guys should not be too worried about 'opening theory'. Apart from a few top Kenyans, the majority really don't know openings and it really is not a major factor in determining the outcome in this country. In fact, these guys probably have an advantage because their middlegame might be strongish due to the fact they are playing long games without clocks.

Most kenyan players on the tournament circuit have been bogged down by playing blitz on a daily basis (me included!) and this may infact be detrimental when it comes to longer time controls as you somehow lose the ability to think and rely more on a quick reflex action. However, what they should really be scared of is the fact that a Tournament atmosphere is vastly different from Friendly games. They have not yet played in an event filled with big dogs with big canines (like Magana and Nguku).

What happens here is that a player like say Githinji can be crushing Magana, Nguku and other big dogs in his friendly blitz games at checkmates, but come Saturday the 18th this Githinji will discover that he is involved in playing games with a whole different species of animal. The tournament atmosphere is designed to make a weak player look weaker and a strong player stronger. How else can you explain the fact that tournament winners usually come from a select group?

GITHINJI HINGA kicks off some beef
First Kudos to Malobs for his discovery of these players and would very much
like to welcome them to the checkmates tourney on the 18th. Also I second
very strongly the thoughts of Nitin Shah who has noted that time has come to
elect officials and possibly purge this tyrannical regime at CK, I ask him
and others likeminded, to come to the checkmates tourney and thereby bring
together the "scattered" chess community.
Now to a strongish Mehul, he was ofcourse correct to state that I, Githinji,
happen to mercilessly crush ... "....Magana, Nguku and other big dogs in his friendly blitz games at checkmates", This is ofcourse true,but what he forgot to include is Himself, Mehul. I know Nguku is of the opinion of " .... Fa Free, you win one and I win one,
BUT bring in an incentive, I win ALL". This is mostly true I admit, BUT the
top rated Kenyan Patzer, Mr Magana a.k.a Magnum is mostly on a losing end
(firing blanks) quote me on that LOL.
Now come Sato, Mehul, pray the draw does not put me on the other side of the
board, the game will be correctly described as Armageddon!!.... As for "the
new species of animal" i will see on the other side, I will be sure to come
equiped with protective clothing, mouthguard/pacifyer and perhaps a banana
coz as mehul said, I dont know what to expect. Na bado, I will unleash my
Kurusha Mawe systems (perfected by a weak Atwoli) and you will see Blitz is
an indication of strength. Furthermore to negate Mehul's laughable observations, I have crushed him, Magana, Gateri, Singe (lol) in non blitz tourneys, so dont be cheated....
How many R U???? Am out G PS: What separates us from GMs and IMs is the understanding of chess theories, so by no way do i see it an advantage if one has not read books.

have just invited you for a game my weak student stop lolliling on beating weaker players - only jump when you beat the real squirrel - MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
Utashika gani????

Hehehe! (top Kenyan patzer laughing...) If u guys were as strong at chess as u r at crackin
jokes.... Nway, good-natured banter is always good. C u all, fellow patzers, on Sato.

Hi All, Thanx Larry (Kd) for once again exhibiting your strong self both on and off
the board. We will miss the Last Rapid tourney Champion, but will forge on.
Now to the weakish Soulman,
First I do not know who else understood your incoherent mail. But from what
I could decipher, u called me weak or weaker. My word!!... The continum of
Kenyan Patzer chess skill is between Magnum and yourself, and calling me out
is like, (American wenging) Conje spoiling for a fight with Wladimir
Klitschko (Current
IBFBoxing Heavyweight Champ and also a strong chess player, higher rated
than Patzer1 Magnum). But for my love of chess, I take the offer, be it
blitz, rapid, classical you name it and I will give you odds on the wager.
Secondly, I suspect H. E. Jomo Kenyatta (the late) was the sitting president
when you last played competitive chess. I challenge you to come for Sato
tourney and witness first hand,FIRE ON BOARD. More to this whenever you feel
strong enough, give me your terms of a match and 4 sure I will duly oblige.
Move Soli Vs G
78. ------ QXg7!!! Mate.
Thats it for now Soli
Am out G

I am Ebrahim a member of the strathmore chess team.I want to thank the
guys who really have a strong interest in building a formidable chess in
kenya..the likes of Paul maloba,Magnum,Nguku and kenya's lady no.1
Linda...i know there are many out there but these are the few i have had
a chance to make a move with..Magnum and company have really helped to
develop an upcoming strong strathmore chess team,this was clearly
demonstrated during the nairobi university tournament where strathmore
made a podium finish an run away with the overall title.
Mr Geoffrey Omondi is my team mate and a greatest rival at the moment,i
have great respect for him...as put by paul,he really has what it takes
to be kenya's greatest chess player...strathmore library has materials on
chess and am sure that Omondi will soon be breathing fire on the
shoulders of the top guns!
I want to join the kenyan chess fraternity in thanking the organisers of
the Checkmates Rapid Chess Tournament,am thinking of showing up....hey i
wont be your customer!..Guys have a good time...