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

Friday, May 25, 2007

Obituary: Alexander Borisovich Roshal dies at 71

He was a renowned chess trainer and one of the most famous and influential chess journalists of the Soviet Union. After its collapse he took over his magazine, "64 – Chess Review", and after a brief crisis, returned it to its old glory. Alik Roshal was a welcome visitor at chess events all over the world, entertaining us with his wisdom and humour. He will be sadly missed.

Alexander Roshal, 1936 – 2007

Alexander Borisovich Roshal was born on August 26, 1936. He was a merited chess trainer of the Soviet Union when in 1968 he switched to journalism and, together with world champion Tigran Petroian he founded a chess magazine called "64 – Chess Review". It became the biggest and most influential chess magazine in the Soviet Union. In 1992 the publication was stopped due to financial difficulties, but then privatised and resurrected by Alexander Roshal, who ran it as Editor in Chief until his death.
Alik (as his Russian friends called him) has limited contact to his parents. His father was arrested when he was one year old, charged with writing the first constitution for the state of Israel. Soon after that he was shot. Alik's mother spent 18 years in a prison camp and exile. He got to know her when he was nine, and lived with her in Kazakhstan until he was 16. He was proud of his heritage and always said: "I am a Russian Jew".
Roshal arranged himself with the Soviet government and, under Brezhnev, was allowed to travel all over the world. In 1986 his magazine published excerpts from Nabokov's autobiography Other Shores, and he was severely punished for this. But as always he bounced back to gain his previous respect and prestige as the foremost chess journalist in Russia.
In "Monologues of a Chess Guru" Vera Tsvetkova wrote: "For many, Roshal embodies chess journalism, acting as the public voice of chess for the greater masses. This energetic and sociable person completely belies his age – he is active, sharp-witted, and talkative – one could listen to him for hours, like a nightingale. It doesn’t matter what the conversation is about – journalism, chess, or his adored watchdog breed, Cane Corso. He represents the generation born in the Thirties – yes, that’s how they are."
Alexander Borisovich deid on May 21 2007 after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer, which he called the disease of chess players.

1000 hits and counting

The kenyan chess blog recived its 1000th visitor on 23/05/07. thanks a lot for all your support. Our audience have come mainly from kenya but hits from such places as lithuania, madagascar, uganda, UK, US and even greenland have been registred. Thanks a lot.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Game of the week: Mukabi - Annand

During the Olympiad at thessaloniki in 1988, mukabi played annand in round 2. Then annand was not a big name as he is today. In this weeks game of the week, we look back at this game played 19 years ago.

[Event "Thessaloniki olympiad"][Site "Thessaloniki"][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 ))

Promised land

Purity Maina send this picture and wrote "Remember the white mans' promises to the qualifiers for the all African games in Abuja Nigeria?That remains the promised land....Hope this year things will be mucho beta!!"

Saturday, May 19, 2007


After the senior rating list came out, the junior rating list is now out too. With more than 50 players the future if kenyan chess is not that bad.

Rahul Mohan 1939
Devisalini Sivaraj 1891
Ankush Nagda 1854
Casper Da Costa Luis 1835
Vaishnavi Ram Mohan 1824
Aneurin Howorth 1799
Peniel Weru 1795
Kush Shah 1791
Akshay Shah 1766
Christian Asiema 1761
Isabelle Asiema 1739
Brian Obilo 1730
Daniel Chol 1723
Joab Odera 1716
Kunj Shah 1710
Rishi Kotecha 1709
Tina Sathyanarayan 1705
Shiv Shah 1702
Sharan Shah 1700
Chiraag Devani 1697
Kevin Nyota 1684
Fredrick Opicha 1684
Vincent Tuwei 1680
Aden Jones
Sahil Shah
James Panther
Collins Apiri
Divvya Sethumathavan
Abishek Umashankar
Saurabh Agrawal
Lawrence Andanje
Roy Ambia
Alasdair Howorth
Victor Karani
Victor Hongo
Patrick Gakuru
Viswanathan Gopakumar
Savan C. Haria
Allan Chege
Sankavee Karunakaran
Brian Mahehu
Alex Mc Vicker
Charles Wanjohi
Karani Pattni
Rushab R. Shah
Daniel Mbogo
Will Mynot
Mathuri Karunakaran
Christine Ng’ang’a
Raihan Jadavji
Erick Kimunyu

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Chess kenya send invitations to the NCA junior chess tourney: a jpg image. This may be a way forward in appeling to the young members of kenyan chess. The full application appears below.


Sunday, May 6, 2007


We are in the process of compiling a kenyan chess database. It will consist of any available kenyan chess game. To make this process sucessfull please email any games you have to kenyanchessblog@yahoo.co.uk.