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

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Uganda Easter open: full pictorial

The easter Ugandan tournament had its fair share of drama. And as Paul maloba reports in this pictorial there was more than just chess in this tournament.

Very happy Ben Magana (Ken) and Raphael Buti (Ug) Before the beginning of their last rounds. They had just feasted on Matoke and Rolex (some serious Ugandan delicacy)

John Mukabi, and Paul Maloba sandwiching the Chairman of Uganda Chess Federation, Joseph Kaamu. The big embrace.

Luggya Vianney (Secretary UCF), Kisuze Stephen and Isaac Babu (Chief Arbiter and CK official). They are trying get an award winning posture: ' the half akimbo sneer' we are in charge here…

After the side shows there was a calm start to the games, with official Isaac Babu left making the first ceremonial move in the game Raphael Buti right Vs Paul Maloba. Grace Nsubuga right in the next board with the black pieces and his trademark 'rag sac that don't come out' at his back

Touch move :The ladies too started their games in one peace or is it piece…

The top boards, Ben Magana Vs Shadrack Kantiti (pirc defense)and Hassan Mulambe (checked shirt) Vs Michael Mawanda in next board.

The games have now reached middle game, and from ladies to gents the pressure could be felt, crowds begun gathering round some of boards in curiosity.

Paul Maloba left Vs Raphael Buti with Isaac Munanira in the next board handling the white pieces
…as the clock ticked away, opponents started holding their heads in deep thought.First this one…

…and after the move, its your turn to hold your head.

But slowly attention started shifting to the top boards and crowds gathered to witness.Ben Magana wanted to stand out from the crowd so he came dressed screaming yellow …No he is not a Kao. These people have no brotherly love!? They've gone for each others throat In the foreground is Isaac Munanira left Vs grace Nsubuga Wait a minute…..
Magana has just pulled a move and everyone has run over to witness…

Nsubuga (with rag sac) too had to get a glimpse of this, Magana has just sacrificed a Night and is daring Kantiti to pick it …Hold on we are closing in to analyze this…

…Kantiti has just declined it and the crowd breaks the silence in murmurs, Raphael was being destructed by this he had to block his ears.Sorry the crowd has outmuscled the camera man so the best he can do is to take the shot from far… but you can as well admire the good looks Raphael and Maloba. Still you can tell that Magana is there somewhere, where there is a yellow colorThe camera man is seeking the arbiter's intervention to have a clearer pic…

Here it is atlast…Kantiti has just played Queen to a7, pinning the white Night, Magana (the one in yellow) is smelling blood and he is thirsty to draw it, he had a lot of practice with Ateka and believes pirc is weak…
(You are advised to put this game in fritz and analyze it for home practice – how to kill pirc) Mukabi was meant to do this annotation but by yesterday he said he needs another week to compile it so he will be sending it soon. Watch this space

The arbiter intervenes and chases away all players, this players are spitting fire… these people need oxygen to breath, 'vacate the room!'…Unfortunately Magana blundered away his queen due to constant stubbornness from Kantiti, Kantiti had the reins but had no time??!Imagine this… Kantiti had mate in one, but had no time! Magana has only his king Skirmishes broke, FIDE rules are being perused, … can Kantiti claim a win? The arbiter rules a draw and signs their score sheets.Mulambe steal the day with the first price of 7.5 Magana comes in clear second with 6.5.WHAT A TOURNAMENT!

Luggya, too amused as he signs away the cheques for the top prizes. "we should have this every month" he comments.

Foot note:
other strong players not featured here like Ben Nguku, Caleb Nyagwaya and Zachary Njuguna were not in the line of fire at the time.
Any player that may feel that his name has been mentioned in contempt, the writer apologizes in advance.This is a true story


Chess trivia part one

Apart from chess being an over the board game, so many other sideshows sometimes outweigh the game itself. Just like life, chess, has its own sweet, bitter, sad, funny and happy sides. This trivia make chess such a sweet game to enjoy. Presented below are some of the most famous trivia, hope you will enjoy. If you have any more feel free to email me.

Adams, Weaver (1901-1963): US master who won the US Open in 1948. In 1939 he wrote a book entitled, White to Play and Win. After publication he played a tournament in Dallas. He lost all his games as White and won all his games as Black!

Ajeeb: The name of the chess automaton built by Charles Hopper, a Bristol cabinet-maker, in 1865. The life-size Indian figure was operated by several chess and checker masters. One opponent shot at Ajeeb after losing a game, wounding the operator. One of the operators of Ajeeb was chess and checker master Constant Ferdinand Burille. During his years as operator, he played over 900 games of chess and only lost 3 games. He never lost a single checker game. Pillsbury was its hidden operator from 1898 to 1904. When Ajeeb was on display in New York at the Eden Musee, it played checkers for a dime and chess for a quarter. Opponents included Theodore Roosevelt, Houdini, Admiral Dewey, O. Henry and Sarah Bernhardt. Ajeeb was 10 feet high. Ajeeb was first exhibited at the Royal Polytechnical Institute in London in 1868. It was lodged at the Crystal Palace between 1868 to the Royal Aquarium at Westminster until 1877. It was then taken to Berlin where over 100,000 saw it in three months. It came to New York in 1885. It was destroyed by fire at Coney Island in 1929. Charles Barker, US checkers champion, also worked

Ajeeb, never losing a single game.

Alladin: The strongest chessplayer at the end of the 14th century. He was also known as Ali Shatrangi (Ali the Chessplayer). He could successfully give odds to all other leading players. He was Chinese and a lawyer.

Art: There are at least 20 paintings called “Checkmate.”

Averbakh, Yuri (1922- ): Endgame expert and grandmaster who did not know

about the proper rule of castling while playing in an international tournament. He was the Soviet Chess Federation president from 1972 to 1977. His daughter married

Grandmaster Mark Taimanov.

Bernstein, Ossip (1882-1962): In 1918 Ossip Bernstein was arrested in Odessa by the Cheka and ordered shot by a firing squad just because he was a legal advisor to bankers. As the firing squad lined up, a superior officer asked to see the list of prisoners’ names. Discovering the name of Ossip Bernstein, he asked whether he was the famous master. Not satisfied with Bernstein’s affirmative reply, he made him play a game with him. If Bernstein lost or drew, he would be shot. Bernstein won in short order and was released. He escaped on a British ship and settled in Paris. Bernstein’s son was President Eisenhower’s official interpreter because he spoke almost every European language. At age 74, he was still playing in international tournaments.

Blackburne, Joseph Henry (1841-1924): His nickname was the Black Death, given to him by a comment in the tournament book of Vienna 1873. He was also known for his temper. After losing to Steinitz in a match, he threw him out of a window. Luckily for Steinitz that they were on the first floor. He was once arrested

as a spy because he sent chess moves in the mail and it was thought the the moves were coded secrets. He tied for first in the British Championship of 1914 at the age of 72. During a simultaneous exhibition at Cambridge University, the students thought to gain the advantage by placing a bottle of whisky and a glass at each end

of the playing oval. In the end he emptied both bottles and won all his games in record time. During the temperance movement in England he declared that whisky

drinking improved one’s chess because alcohol cleared the brain and he tried to prove that theory as often as possible. It is estimated he played 100,000 games of chess in his career.

Blathy, Otto (1860-1939): Credited for creating the longest chess problem, mate in 290 moves.

Bogoljubov, Efim (1889-1952): Attributed to this famous saying “When I’m White I win because I’m White. When I’m Black I win because I’m Bogoljubov.” Once spent over two hours over his 24th move against Steiner, Berlin 1928, and then chose a move that lost a piece.

Budget: The annual FIDE budget is $150,000. The annual chess budget of the Russian Chess Federation is $175 million.

Capture: The longest delay of a capture of a piece or pawn is 57 moves, played by Chajes-Grunfeld, Carlsbad 1923. The game took over 15 hours and lasted 121 moves.

Castling: As late as 1561 castling was two moves. You had to play Re1 on one move and Kg1 on the next move. The longest delayed castling is believed to be in the game Bobotsov-Ivkov, 1966 when White castled on the 46th move.

Check: Up until the early 20th century, it was mandatory to announce a check. Up until the late 19th century, it was mandatory to say ‘check to the queen’ or ‘gardez’ when she was attacked. At one time, if the King and other piece were simultaneously attacked by a piece, it was customary

to announce the fact by saying check to both pieces. Up until the early 19th century, an unnanounced check could be ignored. In 1969 in Tallinn, the Westerinen-Tal game had 38 checks in a row.

Column, Chess: The first newspaper chess column was that in the Liverpool Mercury in 1813. The oldest column still in existence is that of the Illustrated London News, which first appeared in 1842. The first American chess column appeared in 1845 in the New York Spirit of the Times.

Consecutive Moves: There were 72 consecutive Queen Moves in the Mason-

Mackenzie game at London in 1882.

Death of Chessplayers: Georgy Agzamov (1954-1986) died after falling down between two rocks at a beach. Curt Von Bardeleben (1861-1924) committed suicide by jumping out of an upper window of his boarding home. Efim Bogoljobov (1889-1952) died of a heart attack after a simultaneous exhibition. Jose Capablanca (1888-1942) died of a stroke after watching a skittles game at the Manhattan Chess

Club. Edgar Colle (1897-1932) died after an operation for a gastric ulcer. Nikolai Grigoriev (1895-1938) died after an operation for appendicitis. George Mackenzie (1837-1891) died after an overdose of morphine. Frank Marshall (1877-1944) died of a heart attack after leaving a chess tournament in Jersey City. Johannes Minckwitz (1843-1901) committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. Paul Morphy (1837-1884) died of a stroke while taking a cold bath. Harry Pillsbury (1872-1906) died of syphillis. Nicholas Rossolimo (1910-1975) died of head injuries after falling down a flight of stairs in Manhattan. Pierre Saint-Amant (1800-1872) died after falling from a horse and carriage. Carl Schlechter (1874-1918) died from pneumonia and starvation. Vladimir Simagin (1919-1968) died of a heart attack while playing in a chess tournament. Herman Steiner (1905-1955) died of a heart attack after a game from the California State Championship. Frederick Yates (1884-1932) died in his sleep from a leak in a faulty gas pipe connection. Alexander Zaitsev died of thrombosis after a minor operation to remedy a limp by having one leg lengthened. Johann Zukertort (1842-1888) died of a stroke while playing chess at a London coffee house.

Dice: Dice were used between the 10th and 14th century to determine

Which piece should be moved.

Divorce: In 1963 a wife of a chessplayer in Milan filed for divorce because he was so obsessed with chess that he refused to work and support their two children. The court ruled that Mrs. Edvige Ruinstein was entitled to a separation from her husband.

Chess Trivia 86

Einstein, Albert: Albert Einstein was a good friend of World Chess Champion

Emanual Lasker. In an interview with the New York Times in 1936 Albert said, “I do not play any games. There is no time for it. When I get through work I don’t want anything which requires the working of the mind.” He did take up chess in his later life.

Endgame: The maximum number of moves required to deliver mate from the worst possible starting position are as follows: Rook and Bishop vs. two Knights - 223 moves; Queen vs.two Bishops - 71 moves; Queen and Rook vs. Queen – 67 moves; two Bishops vs. Knight - 66 moves; Queen vs.two Knights - 63 moves; Rook and Bishop vs. Rook – 59 moves.

Exchequer, Chancellor of the: British finance minister. The title came from counting out money on a chequer-board used for chess. In 1080 the Normans named their financial departments of State l’excheiquier after the chessboard, which was used as a form of abacus.

Fischer, Robert (1943- ): The youngest American chess champion ever (14), the

second youngest grandmaster ever (15 years, 6 months, 1 day), and the youngest Candidate for the World Championship ever (15). Fischer once withdrew from a chess tournament because a woman was playing in the event (she was Lisa Lane and U.S. woman champion). His I.Q. has been recorded to be over 180. He received $3.65 million for defeating Spassky in the Fischer-Spassky II match in Yugoslavia in 1992. In 1962 he boasted, “Women are weakies. I can give Knight odds to any

woman in the world!” His performance rating against Larsen in 1971 was 3060 after a 6-0 victory. In 1970 he won the Blitz Tournament of the Century in Herceg

Novi, Yugoslavia by a score of 19 out of 22. After the tournament he called off from memory the moves of all his 22 games, involving more that 1,000 moves. In 1981

he was arrested in Pasadena under suspicion of bank robbing. He later wrote of this incident in a book entitled, I Was Tortured in the Pasadena Jailhouse.

Grandmaster: First used in connection with chess as a player of highest class in 1838. The title of grandmaster was first used in 1907 at the Ostend tournament. In 1914, Nicholas II, the Czar of Russia, conferred the title ‘Grandmaster of Chess’ on Emanuel Lasker, Alekhine, Capablanca, Tarrasch, and Marshall after they took the top 5 places in the St. Petersburg tournament. These are the five original Grandmasters. In 1950 FIDE awarded 27 players the first official Grandmaster title. These players were: Bernstein, Boleslavsky, Bondarevsky, Botvinnik, Bronstein, Duras, Euwe, Fine, Flohr, Grunfeld, Keres, Kostic, Kotov, Levenfish, Lilienthal, Maroczy, Mieses, Najdorf, Ragozin, Reshevsky, Rubinstein, Samisch, Smyslov,

Stahlberg, Szabo, Tartakower, and Vidmar. In the 1960s the United States had more Grandmasters than International Masters. In 1998 there were 565 Grandmasters in

the world, 5 with the honorary GM title, and 102 women GMs.

Grundy, James (1855-1919): Responsible for the most infamous scandal in U.S. championship history. Grundy needed a win in the last round to tie for first place at the 5th American Chess Congress in 1880. Grundy bribed his opponent, Preston Ware, $20 during the game to let Ware’s advantage slip into a draw so that Grundy could make sure of second place. When Ware agreed and took the money, Grundy tricked him and played for a win which he did.

Huon of Bordeaux: A romance written around 1200 describing a servant who

plays chess against a princess for her hand in marriage. If he loses the game, he loses his head. She finally lets him win.

Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584): Keen chessplayer who died while playing chess.

J’adoubovic: Nickname of Milan Matulovic. He took a losing move back against Bilek at the 1967 Sousse interzonal, saying “j’adoube” after he took the move back. He got away with it.

Janowski, David (1868-1927): Chess master and addicted gambler. In 1901 he won an international tournament at Monte Carlo and lost all his first place money in the casino the same evening the tournament ended. The casino management had to buy his ticket home.

Kasparov-Karpov matches: After five world championship matches, Kasparov and

Karpov have played 144 games with Kasparov leading 73-71 overall (21 wins, 19 losses, and 104 draws).

Kholmov, Ratmir (1925- ): This grandmaster was once suspended for a year from

Tournament play because of conduct unbefitting a chess master (he was drunk).

Lasker, Emanuel (1868-1941): Lasker took first place at Breslau in 1889 by accident. Another competitor, needing a draw or win for first place, had a won adjourned game. After adjournment he lost. It was later discovered that one of his pawns was knocked off the board between sealing and resumption of the game, which would have given him the winning advantage. As a result Lasker, who was considering giving up chess, won the event and the title of national master. Five years later he was world champion. He once tried to breed pigeons for poultry shows. He tried for many months and failed. He learned later that all the pigeons

were male. Between 1901 and 1914 he played in only three tournaments. In 1908 he married at the age of 48 and became husband, father, and grandfather all at once. His wife, a few years older than he, was already a grandmother. He tried to have the tournament rules changes for the older player at the international level. He proposed that play should be stopped after 2 hours for a half hour adjournment. His theory was that gentle exercises or turning to other thoughts for awhile would reinvigorate the older brain. During World War I he invested his life savings in German war bonds and lost it all. He wrote a book declaring that Germany had to win World War I if civilization was to be saved. His Ph.D. dissertation of 1902 on ideal numbers became a cornerstone of 20th century algebra. He believed that one of his opponents, Tarrasch, had hypnotic powers and wanted to play him in a separate room. Lasker’s older brother, Berthold, won the New York State chess championship in 1902.

Lenin, Vladimir: An avid chessplayer who used “Karpov” as one of his

pseudonyms during his exile.

Longest Games: The longest chess game is 269 moves (I. Nikolic -Arsovic, Belgrade 1989) which ended in a draw. The lon-gest won game for White is 193 moves (Stepak -Mashian, Israeli Championship 1980). The longest won game for Black is 161 moves (Duras - Janowski, San Sebastion 1911). Chess Trivia 159

Losers: The worst loss by a player was Macleod of Canada who lost 31 games in the New York double-round robin of 1889. Col. Moreau lost all 26 games at the Monte Carlo tournament in 1903.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Kenyan chess pictorial part one

Part of this blog is to bring you those memorable pictures you would want to see. Thanks a lot for all those who send in photos, your contributions are highly appreciated. Here i have posted quite a few pics i felt are interesting. hope you enjoy.

Down memory lane: KK karanja

KK Karanja playing the Alehkine's Defense against Georgia's GM Maia Chiburdanidze in an 1987 simul at the Marshall CC. Chirburdanidze was the Women's World Champion at the time.

The young at heart

Kenya's young star in the making weru, displays some of his many trophies. The young lad captured the hearts of many kenyans and had extensive media coverage. He is probably the most known chess player in Kenya.

Top brass
Gm Nigel short visit to Kenya gave us all an opportunity for a souvenir picture. Here chess Kenya officals pose for a photo with him.

Who said blitz was bad.
Gm short gave us all a lesson in fast chess. Only in the coastal city of Mombasa did James apiri give the commonwealth chess champion a test of defeat.


Kenya vs Cyprus in the chess olympiad.

Kenya vs qatar

After poaching many of our top class athletes qatar faced Kenya in the Olympiad and from the look of kenyan players faces they were not in the mood for petro dollars.

Kenya vs macao
The tiny enclave of macao got its independence from portugal only 10 years ago. Like hong kong and taiwan china claims them to be part of its territories. here macaoians or is it macoese (whatever) faced Kenyan players.

The ladies
Not to be left behind, the kenyan ladies battled it out for supremacy with their Albanian counter parts.

Kamba's know their trade

Even though kenya is not known worldwide in terms of chess performance, one of the highest selling souvenir chess boards come from Kenya. chess boards like the one seen above go for upto £1000 at amazon.com. in fact a search for Kenyan chess at Google will give you more of this boards and kisii soap stone chess pieces than gateri or kanegeni.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mulambe is east african champion; magana is second

The annual migration of kenyan chess players to Uganda took place this easter. It saw quite a number of kenyan players face their Ugandan and rwandan neighbours in a gruelling easter program. kenya had only 2 players in the top 10, ben magana and ben nguku . nathan ateka and ken omolo finished in the bottom 3. full report by below by vanney luggay

Hassan Mulambe is the East Africa Chess Champion after emerging unbeaten in an 8 round strong competition that attracted 80 players from Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda between 6th-9th April, 2007 at Lugogo. This was the 2nd edition of the Uganda Chess Federation organised competition.
Mulambe, a former National Champion notched 7.5 points out of 8 (seven wins and one draw) to finish clear first with a full point ahead of the closest challenger, Kenya's strongest player Ben Magana who finished in 2nd position with 6.5 points.
On his way to victory, Mulambe surprised many when he defeated seven opponents including the event's defending champion Bob Bibasa, national champion Shadrack Kantinti, Kenya's highest rated player Ben Magana, another Kenyan Caleb Nyagwaya and Raphael Buti among others before drawing with Michael Mawanda in the final round.
Trailing in third position was Shadrack Kantinti who tied with Michael Mawanda and Moses Kawuma at 6 points. Defending champ, Bibasa was relegated to sixth position at 5.5 points. Attached is the final ranking of all the participants after the 8 rounds of play.
The other Kenyans in the top positions were Ben Nguku and Paul Maloba who finished in 10th and 12th position respectively with 5.5 points each. Rwanda's former champion Alex Ruzigura who missed the first round game and therefore played only seven games instead of 8 finished in 43rd position out of 80 with 4 points.
The most entertaining and highly tensed up game of the competition was that between Uganda's and Kenya's most consistent performers Shadrack Kantinti and Ben Magana, which controversially ended in a draw after a ruling by the arbiter. The two players battled all the way and Kantinti had a mate in one move with a Queen and Queening pawn but run out of time while his opponent was only left with a King.
Several upcoming youngsters including Kenneth Ouma, Emma Otella and Fred Okiring put up a high spirited fight but at the end of the day experienced proved vital.
Winner Mulambe walked off with a prestigious trophy and Shs. 300,000/=, while 2nd Magana got Shs. 150,000/=.
The UCF is more than pleased with the level of competition being displayed after getting almost a different winner in every competition that has so far been held this year. The days of a single player dominating all competitions seem to be long gone with more players putting in extra effort and hours of training.
The LAdies winner was Fatuma Ndagire followed by Joan Butindo (2nd) and Nansove Rita (3rd).
INTERMEDIATE RANKING after 8 rounds Points Buchholz Tiebreak
1. MULAMBE HASSAN UGA 7.5 40.0 311.50
2. MAGANA BEN KEN 6.5 42.0 307.50
3. KANTINTI SHADRACK UGA 6.0 43.5 299.50
4. MAWANDA MICHAEL UGA 6.0 41.0 303.00
5. KAWUMA MOSES UGA 6.0 34.0 281.50
6. BIBASA BOB UGA 5.5 43.5 289.50
7. WANYAMA HAROLD UGA 5.5 40.0 294.50
8. BUTI RAPHAEL UGA 5.5 39.0 292.00
9. MWAKA EMMA UGA 5.5 37.5 273.50
10. NGUKU BEN KEN 5.5 37.0 304.50
11. NSUBUGA GRACE UGA 5.5 36.0 285.00
12. MALOBA PAUL KEN 5.5 35.5 271.00
13. MUNANIRA ISAAC UGA 5.5 34.5 273.00
14. OTELLA EMMA UGA 5.5 34.0 281.00
15. OUMA KENNETH UGA 5.0 39.0 278.50
16. MUKABI JOHN KEN 5.0 39.0 285.00
17. KAAMU JOSEPH UGA 5.0 38.5 275.50
18. OKIRING FRED UGA 5.0 37.5 291.50
19. LUGGYA VIANNEY UGA 5.0 37.0 276.50
20. KISUZE STEPHEN UGA 5.0 36.0 258.50
21. MWAKA HENRY UGA 5.0 35.5 281.50
22. OJARA PAUL UGA 5.0 34.0 280.00
23. KASOZI PETER UGA 5.0 34.0 264.00
24. MATOVU MUSA UGA 5.0 33.5 265.50
25. OWINY FESTO UGA 5.0 31.5 270.00
26. SEWANYANA EDWARD UGA 4.5 39.0 276.00
27. GONZA SIMON UGA 4.5 37.5 281.00
28. NJUGUNA ZACHARY KEN 4.5 35.5 274.00
29. SSALI JULIUS UGA 4.5 35.0 267.00
30. KIVUMBI ADEL UGA 4.5 33.5 280.50
32. MAYANJA SAMUEL UGA 4.5 33.5 271.50
33. KYEYUNE HERBERT UGA 4.5 33.5 253.50
34. MWANGA GEORGE UGA 4.5 31.0 248.50
35. KAYONDO YUSUF UGA 4.5 28.5 256.00
36. NTENDE JOHN UGA 4.0 37.0 269.00
37. NKONGE MOSES UGA 4.0 34.5 264.00
38. KILAMA DENIS UGA 4.0 34.0 273.00
39. TUGUME RICHARD UGA 4.0 34.0 255.50
40. NSANJA ABDUL UGA 4.0 33.5 257.50
41. LWANGA ARTHUR UGA 4.0 33.0 258.00
42. SEBANAKITTA UMAR UGA 4.0 31.0 267.50
43. RUZIGURA ALEX RWA 4.0 31.0 253.50
44. EMOJONG AMOS UGA 4.0 30.0 254.50
45. MWANGA RONALD UGA 4.0 28.5 246.00
46. KIKASIIMA MUHAMED UGA 4.0 27.5 238.50
47. LWANGA AUGUSTINE UGA 4.0 27.0 247.50
48. KIMERA INNOCENT UGA 4.0 27.0 237.00
49. MUFUMBIRA GEOFFREY UGA 4.0 26.5 236.00
50. OPOLOT ANTHONY UGA 4.0 24.0 232.50
51. AGABA DAVIS UGA 3.5 38.0 269.50
52. KANAABI AARON UGA 3.5 37.5 259.00
53. BWIRE STEPHEN UGA 3.5 31.0 255.50
54. MUTYABA GERALD UGA 3.5 31.0 231.00
55. MUTESASIRA IVAN UGA 3.5 28.5 235.00
56. NYAGWAYA CALEB KEN 3.0 37.5 261.00
57. KAMUGASHA LEUBEN UGA 3.0 31.0 242.00
58. MUKUMBYA BENJAMIN UGA 3.0 30.5 248.50
59. NACHWERA PETER UGA 3.0 30.0 240.00
60. KATIMBO FRANK UGA 3.0 29.0 234.00
61. MUGABI BRIAN UGA 3.0 27.5 240.00
62. MUBIRU PAUL UGA 3.0 27.5 222.50
63. SEMANDA HAMIS UGA 3.0 25.5 227.00
64. ANGULO PATRICK UGA 2.5 31.5 242.00
65. KAGWA YAKOUB UGA 2.5 28.0 238.50
66. LUBEGA HENRY UGA 2.5 28.0 230.50
67. KIBUGO GODFREY UGA 2.5 26.5 226.00
68. PAN ANDREW UGA 2.5 26.0 241.50
69. BUULE INNOCENT UGA 2.5 24.5 230.50
70. ODOTA DEO UGA 2.5 23.5 215.50
71. MWINGANISA PIUS UGA 2.0 27.5 218.00
72. TWESIGYE DERRICK UGA 2.0 25.5 229.50
73. KAMYA DANIEL UGA 2.0 25.0 225.00
74. NTAMBI CHRIS UGA 2.0 23.5 212.50
75. MUKULU JULIUS UGA 2.0 23.5 206.00
76. SEGUYA IVAN UGA 2.0 23.0 204.00
77. KAMOGA RAJAB UGA 2.0 22.0 203.50
78. ATEKA NATHAN KEN 2.0 21.5 207.00
79. NIYONZIMA ALEX UGA 2.0 21.0 211.00
80. OMOLLO KEN KEN 1.5 22.5 210.00

Game of the week

[Event "Checkmates club round robin"]
[Site "Checkmates club, Nairobi"]
[Date "2005.12.21"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Kanegeni, Matthew (2224)"]
[Black "Gateri, Martin (2047)"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D46"]
[Annotator "korir"]
[PlyCount "116"]

{In this game gateri missed a chance to finish the game in one move but he

eventually won}

1. d4 1... d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 e6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nbd7 6. Bd3

6... Be7 {a new move by gateri. The main lines involve central exchange

first before the bishop development.}

(6... dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Be2 8... Bb7 {kaparov-karpov Wch})

7. O-O O-O 8. e4 dxe4 9. Nxe4 Nxe4 10. Bxe4 Nf6 11. Bd3

(11. Bc2 c5 12. dxc5 Bxc5 13. Bg5 Qxd1 14. Raxd1 14... Nd7 {mukabi- gateri})

11... c5 12. Bg5 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Qa5 14. Bh4 Rd8 15. Nb3

{the deployment of the knight to the queen side is suspect.} (15. Nf3 b6 16. Qe2

Bb7 17. Ne5 (17. Rfd1) 17... Rac8 {is equal. And here white can unleash some drama} 18. Bxh7+ Kxh7 19. Bxf6 Bxf6

20. Qh5+ Kg8 21. Qxf7+ Kh8 22. Qh5+ (22. Ng6+ $2 22... Kh7 23. Qxb7 23... Kxg6

{black is winning}) 22... Kg8 {is drawn})

15... Qe5 16. Qc2

(16. Qe2 {leads to early liquidation and probably a draw} 16... Qxe2 17. Bxe2 Bd7 (17...

e5) 18. Rad1 Bc6)

16... Qh5 {lack of knight support gives the black queen freedom to roam}

17. Bg3 Bd7 18. Rfe1 Bc6

(18... Rac8) 19. Re5 {instead of developing his other rook kanegeni gains a tempo or two by attacking blacks pieces. But at what cost?}

19... Qh6 20. Na5 Bd6 21. Nxc6 bxc6 22. Re2 Bxg3 23. fxg3 {although whites

kingside pawns are weak the elimination of the black bishops takes the sting

off. } 23... c5 24. Be4 Rab8 25. Bf3 Rd4 26. Rd1 Rbd8 27. Rxd4 Rxd4

(27...cxd4 {the position here is nearly impossible to evaluate during a normal game.

I think gateri chose the safe move to avoid complications that may arise after}

28. Re1 (28. b4 $2 28... d3 29. Qd1 Rd4 30. Re5 d2) (28. Re5 d3 29. Qd1 Rd4 30.

b4 d2) 28... d3 29. Qf2 d2 30. Rd1 e5 31. Qxa7 e4 32. Be2 Qg5 33. b4 e3 34. Qb6

Re8 35. a4 Ne4 36. Qd4 Nf2 37. Rb1 Rd8 38. Qa1 Qf5) 28. b4 {this looks like a natural move to make in this position but on close examination black gets an advantage}

28... Qg5

(28... cxb4 29. c5 Nd5 30. c6 (30. Bxd5 Rxd5 31. c6 Qf6 32. c7 Qa1+ 33. Kf2 Qf6+ 34. Kg1 {draws}) 30... Nc7 31. Qb1 31... a5 {with a winning advantage for black})

29. b5 h5 30. Re1 30... Ng4 {white should not reluctantly surrender his bishop.} 31. Bxg4

(31. h4 Qd8) (31.a4 Ne5 32. Qe2 Nxc4 33. Bxh5)

31... Qxg4 32. Rc1 {the overprotection of this pawn will put white in a standstill.}

(32. Qa4 Rxc4 33. Qxa7 Rc2 34. Qa8+ Kh7 35. Qf3 Qxf3 36. gxf3)

32... Qg5 33. Rd1 Qe3+ 34. Kf1 e5 35. Rc1 {MADNESS. the king in its current position is stalemated. Giving the opponent a chance to check you with the other piece can not be allowed. white must resign after blacks next move.} (35. Re1 Qg5 36. Kg1 f6) 35... Qg5

{was this blitz? the hallmark of chess is pattern recognition. gateri fails

to find the killer move.} (35... Rd6 {the threat is 36…Rf6+}36. Qe2 {all lead to the loss of rook or queen or both} (36. Qd1) (36. g4))

36. Qc3 e4 37. Kg1 f5 38. a4 {conversion of small advantages is essential. here gateri

goes for the full blast exposing himself to dangerous counter attacks.

consolidation by...}

38... h4 (38... Qd8 39. a5 Rd3 40. Qe1 Rd2 41. Kh1 41...

Qd3 {...would have been better})

39. gxh4 Qxh4 40. g3 Qd8 41. Rc2 (41. a5 Rd3 42. Qa1 Qd4+ 43. Qxd4 cxd4 44. Rf1 Rc3 45. b6 axb6 46. axb6 46... d3 {draws })

41... Rd1+

(41... Rd3 $1 {wins by} 42. Qb2 Rd1+ 43. Kg2 e3 44. Qe5 Qa8+ 45.

Kh3 Qf3)

42. Kf2 Rh1 43. Rc1 Rxh2+ 44. Kg1 44... Rd2 {white should be resigning}

45. Qe5 Qg5 46. Qf4 Qxf4 47. gxf4 Ra2 48. Rd1 Rxa4 49. Rd7 Rxc4 50. Rxa7 e3

51. b6 51... Rb4

(51... Rc1+ 52. Kg2 e2 53. b7 e1=Q 54. b8=Q+ Kh7 55. Qe5)

52. b7 Kh7 53. Kg2 e2 54. Kf2 Rb2 55. Ke1 Kh6 56. Ra5 Kh5 57. Rxc5 Kg4 58. Rc2

Rxb7 0-1

An introduction to kenyan chess



A concoction of Kenyan players during GM Nigel short visit to kenya


Ben Magana

By far magnum is the strongest Kenyan player at the moment. He finds ways of winning even from the minutest advantages. His play during the 2006 Kenya national championships which also doubled as qualifiers for the all African games was phenomenal. His only drawback is his performance against international players. The recently concluded Olympiad and the Ugandan tournament bring into question his ability to perform under pressure.

Mathew kanegeni

Kanegeni is a precise calculator, great competitor, good instructor and generally a complete chess player. I never saw him play during his heyday but from media reports I could judge that he was a class above his peers. Although ‘young players’ are shoving him off the scene he is still a great player.

Ben nguku

Nguku is a volatile player on the board. He is a great attacker and most of the time comes off with the win. GM Nigel short was so impressed by his play that he posted one of his games in his weekly chess column in the UK.

John mukabi

Mukabi is a cunning player. With his choice of openings including 1.Nf3 and 1. c4 or even 1. g3 and preferring the closed Sicilian he will always wait for you to make a mistake and then strike with lethal precision. He has been playing competitive chess for over 20 years and still has the enthusiasm to compete.

Mehul gohil

From chess ninja website to chessbase.com and everything in between you will find mehuls contributions. Locally he is one of the best analysts around. He is fond of revolving a pawn around his fingers while playing. His best moment was winning the checkmates round robin one of the strongest tournaments held locally.

Martin gateri.

You should look at gatteri’s score sheet after the game. Anyone who can read must be a genius. Gateri spends most of his time recording moves than thinking! But someone suggested that in fact gateri maybe a very good blindfold player. He is not really having problems recording his moves but he his really thinking.

Nathan ateka

He will be found in Ugandan tournaments than Kenyan ones, maybe because he is closer to Uganda than Kenya. A player of great experience ateka had great duels with andolo in the 90’s.


Akello atwoli, george mwangi, wyclife obutu,

The future of Kenyan chess lies in these young men. But chess is not for the faint hearted and they have to claw their way to the top.


Victor ngani, Paul maloba, ken omollo, William wachania, Lawrence khaduli, Philip singe, isoe moseti, james apiri, steve ouma.

They struggle to get to the top of Kenyan chess. Sometimes they make it at times they don’t. but they give the strong players a run for their money.


Philip mwashe, atwoli lukoye, andolo ambasi, peter jaoko, cyrus ambasi, brian mmata e.t.c

You will always find them in tournaments, they may never win but they give Kenyan chess its flavor.


Linda abur, jane wambu, phina magara, rose wabuti, purity maina, Beatrice kwanya.

The queens of Kenyan chess. What would the kings do without the queens?


Isak babu, Lawrence kagambi e.t.c

The main organizers of Kenyan chess from chess Kenya.

Obituary:Alex makatia

If chess is a science, it's a most inexact one. If chess is an art, it's too exacting to be seen as one. If chess is a sport, it's too a esoteric. If chess is a game, it's too demanding to be *just* a game. If chess is a mistress, she's a demanding one. If chess is a passion, it's a rewarding one. If chess is life, it's a sad one. “ANONYMOUS

I first heard of alex makatia in the 1990’s when I used to read chess articles in the nation, standard and the now unpublished economist magazine. Back then I had only learned chess and newspapers articles being the only source of chess information for me I came to know of Kenyan players who I was to meet later

Before I met makatia I had interacted with him through his twin websites; his personal website and checkmates club website. I met him for the first time during the 2005 Kenya open and he impressed me by his personality and enthusiasm. He talked to me in a great length about chess history, chess in general and much more.

His contribution to Kenyan chess will not be forgotten and his commitment to bring Kenyan chess to the web was a step in the right direction.

Welcome to kenyan chess blog

"Chess is mental torture." -- KASPAROV


"If drink is the curse of the working classes and work is the curse of the drinking classes then chess is the curse of the thinking classes

-- J. Ross

My name is Edwin korir and am a great chess enthusiast. I started playing chess in 1997 and it has been a part of me ever since. I currently work in the Kenya armed forces.

My local chess club is burnt forest chess club situated in the back room of Dr kimutai lagats pharmacy. We currently have 5 active players; Dr lagat a pharmacist, Mr. arusei a high school teacher who learned his chess in India and used to play for cash in Bangalore casinos, Mr. babu a local barber and the strongest player, me and Samuel chebii a teacher.

It is very rare to find all of us together due to work demands. Our ‘strongest tournament’ was held in 12-12-03 a round robin with Ksh 1000 the prize money for the winner. At the end of the tournament there was no winner because we had all won, lost and drawn the same number of games, suffice to say the prize money was spend on tusker.

In this blog I will try to document Kenyan chess the best way I can. Welcome


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