CHESS KENYA HELD THEIR HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL AGM OVER THE WEEKEND. MEHUL GOHIL ATTENDED THE FUNCUTION SHORTLY AND HERE ARE HIS OBSERVATIONS
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.