With the All African Games kicking off today here is a profile of our men in Algiers
The national team before leaving for algiers
With a FIDE rating of 2151 and a local rating of 2308, ben magana is the strongest kenyan player currently. The reigning kenya national chess champion, magana has participated in many olympiads. He is the Kenya Open 2000 chess champion. This seemingly timid player has the precision and cold ruthlessness of a machine while on attacking mode. He has played in a number of countries namely Egypt, Turkey and Slovenia. In the chess Olympiad held in Istanbul Turkey he achieved an ELO Rating of 2200.All kenyan hopes will be resting on his shoulders. Although he will play very strong players in board 1 including GM and IM, there was a rumour that the kenyan team may play their strongest players(Magana and Nguku) in lower boards to increase medal prospects.
Nguku and magana
His best moment was in the 2004 olympiad in spain where he managed the best score by any kenyan player in the tournament. A versatile and attacking player, Nguku has been kenya number one a number of times. "He has a sharp style despite his sometimes conservative choice of openings" is what nigel short had to say about him.
What can be more diffrent, his father is the most talkative man around while akello is so silent and shy. This being his first time representing kenya his perfomance will really be a gauge of things to come.
The question in everbodys mind is, "are you fit to wear that kenyan shirt". Oumas inclusion in the team was so controversial it clouded other aspects of the team. In my own opinion ouma should not be anywhere near algiers. At the expense of Obut, ouma was chosen because he had "better medal prospects". If we are talking about medal prospects then why not choose Ateka or Kanegeni who are a million times stronger than ouma? I think his strength of play will be clearly exposed in algiers