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

Friday, July 6, 2007

Mukabi tips Egypt for gold

By Samson Ateka

The national chess team technical bench hopes to improve its medal prospects by fielding stronger players on lower boards.

Chess is usually played in four boards with the top seed fielded on board one. Olympian and coach John Mukabi said they intend to field their players in a descending order because "our top players will face weak opposition at lower boards."

Reigning champion Ben Magana could be fielded on the lowest board with Ben Ngungu on the third last board.

Mukabi said Steve Ouma and Akello Atwoli might be taken on to the top boards. The chess team has brought to camp at Kasarani two computers for sparring matches with Fritz nine programmes, which coach Mukabi said is able to play various intricate lines against a human being.

"The management Committee has hired two computers that players are using to test their might on the chess board and it has really done a lot of good to the players. The programme looks at up to 20 different and strong moves and this will help improve the players’ flair in the long run," Mukabi said.

Mukabi said the advantage of the programme is that you can tune it to the level of a player or higher above the standards if one so wishes.

Mukabi said they would decide on the order of the boards tomorrow. Mukabi has tipped Egypt as the possible champions.

"They have International Masters and grandmasters in their team and their standards should be way above the continental level. But we will fight to be in the medal brackets by virtue of having played at various Fide World Chess Olympiads," Mukabi said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mukabi is a crap coach. I actually doubt that Kenya will get a medal even with nguku and Magana on the lower boards. Its a very tough ask.

Kenya is probably one of the weakest teams there. An analysis of the real medal contenders will confirm what a tough task Kenya has ahead.

The strongest contingent include: North African Countries: Egypt Tunisia, Morocca & Algeria itself - West Africa : Nigeria is a powerhouse - Sudan & Uganda are stronger than us -- S.Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zambia all have IM's in their contingents. That's already 11 stronger chess countries than Kenya.

With a duffer like Ouma in the team our chances for a medal are not good. Instead, the Kenyan team should focus on avoiding a disastrous result such as not finishing in the bottom 5. They should perhaps aim to be in the top 12. That itself would be a good result.

Medals, i personally don't think are a possibility. The Kenyan team should beware of not being too overconfident.