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

Thursday, October 4, 2007


One of the Kenyan chess players i have so much respect for is Paul Maloba. He is the one who started the Kenya chess forum, went to the streets and unearthed a new breed of chess players e.t.c. so when he speaks i turn to listen. Here is his take on the recent discussion on the way forward for Kenyan chess.

Kim Bahri initially commented this on this chess blog:
I had promised myself not to get involved in chess politics after 1999 but after 8 years I see the same issue. Chess players in Kenya are just trying to dig a hole in water. I have gone through the constitution and found it to be a much better document than the one we had many years ago. Why waste so much time and energy doing another constitution?? We are writing a new constitution to fit chess players who have ignored the current one. Will the new one be followed. Never , Never Never. Turmoil will continue as it has since the first chairman was there. His name was Mr Sikand by the way.

The way forward is as follows;

1 The National chess league be set up by teams paying the membership fee that is set out in the constitution ie Ksh 15k for corporates and 5k for non corporates.
2. The school league be set up with the schools paying Ksh 5k
3. The provincial branches for Nyanza, Nairobi and Rift valley can be set up without much effort. We have Shakeel in Kisumu, Korir in Eldoret and we have many people for the Nairobi Province.
4 CK should co-opt two people into the committee to help in organizing these two leagues which are LONG LONG overdue
5. The elections are then held under the new constitution in Feb 2008 by which time the league is well underway.
6. Only authorized delegates will then be allowed into the voting hall. This idea of all chess players turning up at AGM is completely wrong. Can you imagine all hockey players going to city park for elections. the Riot police will clobber all you little pawns and chase you back to your Rooks. Or Kasparov and Karpov going for the Russian Chess Federation AGM. Guys let us be serious.

Guys the game of chess is suffering. Sponsors are not interested in fancy documents they want to see action on the board. the silent majority want to castle long, castle short, capture, check and checkmate!

I will be sending a letter of protest to the sports council on how they have handled this affair.

Paul Maloba's take:
I must admit that it makes a really sad reading I read mail of people complaining (quite positive) but shy away when it comes to forging the way forward (yaliyopita si ndwele).
problem two with us comes with walking the talk!! which is most important.

These ideas are brilliant, I hope whatever office in place will not forget them. also in addition to Ambasi's ideas below...

Goals would include the following:

i) When do we target to have a Grand Master? How much do we think it will take. If we are to seek sponsorship for the same, how much would we be asking for?

ii) Revival of the national league,

iii) Chess in schools

iv) coverage of Chess in the press.

v) having international arbiters from Kenya

vi) making Chess an employer.

When an incumbent offices focuses on such issues then we will make great progress

what I disagree with you however is the tagging of this idea to the incumbent office. Expecting this office to act in my opinion will be a tall order, this year we have seen very little (at least junior championships haven't suffered as much- lets just hope there will be continuity and they'll grow to be strong GMs).

Leadership takes ownership and working with the team (in office), marshaling resources to see ideas through. I was really saddened by the cancellation of Neils tournament, together with Magana we tried making sense of the two camps because noise that halts the game is unproductive. Whatever the reasons that CK might have had, this tournament would've been a great plus to them and more importantly to chess. My point is I doubt the current office can pull this ideas off.

Contrary to what Mehul says, the current constitution looks ok on membership, and payment of Sh.2,400 for a period of 1 year is manageable. Unfortunately the current situation is that there is zero activity, so there is no incentive to pay, but with leagues setup and frequent tournaments you are either a member or you are not a chess player! this should be the ideal situation and perhaps we should include this clause for membership qualification.

why did everyone show up for the AGM? to answer Kim, we love chess and we needed action injected, we couldn't just sit at home and expect things to be different (plus Obutu saga). but you guys were not paid up members...? yes we weren't but we are stakeholders all the same, we couldn't just complain and sit on our backs.

I greatly disagree with you Kim that you'll complain to sports council (so how will this help chess? or how will it not help chess?)- lets not forget that its such actions that stopped previous chess sponsorships, Further more the resolution to to amend the constitution was reached by members present and the current office (This was quite mature of the current office unlike th saga experienced in the past according to memoirs of Mukabi) SC was just a mediator. The idea is to improve things not to worsen them.

lastly I'd like to point out the obsession of Mehul to Kim and Rodriguez, yes they had success in tournaments, but this doesn't mean that only them can do the job, they had negatives too!
In my opinion, having them run (with executive authority) tournament or league projects would be a great idea.

Otherwise the organization for the tournament on Saturday is noble, and am looking forward to flex my muscles against the high and mighty, the problem with weak tournaments is that you have the first two easy rounds, two rounds that follow are fought then the last two are fixed: you actually end playing two rounds only. Perhaps next time a rating list can be used for invitation and thus Khaduli, Me (I applied for a wild card),George Mwangi,Jonah,Isoe... etc wouldn't be missing and thus make it stronger.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Peny you have a cool blog.