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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Steve Ouma Sets The Record Staight

After too much mud slinging Steve ouma finally gives his point of view.

By Steve Ouma

My fellow Chess players:

I believe all of us know that prolonged lie sometimes sound like truth. Also it has been believed that silent means concurring with whatever has been said. I want to take this moment to set the records straight.

1. On the allegations from John Mukabi whom I used to have alot of respect for him that Larry and I have been organizing Junior events and pocketing the Money, Ladies and Gentlemen this is false since the Youth Committee has been running Junior events since the Year 2009 and the treasurers to the accounts have been parents, all the records of the tournaments are intact and will be presented to the auditors, furthermore to withdraw the money from the accounts all the three signatories must sign.

2. On the allegation that Larry and Steve were opposed to the opening of the Youth Account, this is false because it is on record that I am the one who pushed for a separate account that can be handled by parents for transparency.

3. On the allegation that I went to the Commissioner to ask for an Air ticket, this is false as I never requested for a single ticket from the government , in addition there was no ticket given.

4. On the allegation that the last tournament raised a lot of money and we pocketed and that expenses were amounting to Ksh 5,000, this is false because just to give you a brief of the expenses: venue alone cost us Ksh 14,000, Trophies Over Ksh 16,000, Certificates to all participants over Ksh 4,000 just to mention but a few.

My fellow players, I personally tried to respond to this by directly trying to call Mukabi, but as always the guilt are afraid, he did not receive my call, I was within my rights to call him because I believed that what he had tried to do was to give malice information which is meant to Character assassinate me and to portray me negatively in public. I did not issue any threats since Issuing threat is an of fence and he should report to the police. All I told him which I can confidently repeat it is that I may consider legal redress, I have the whole conversation with Him. I have never responded to previous allegation not that because I am guilt but I was hoping that most of us will be able to differentiate between malice and truth.

Chessmen and ladies, I may not be in office tomorrow, we should not burn bridges as we will need each other in some other areas. Eg. You may need me during transition since I am in charge of youth activities. Mukabi also had said that Larry and myself are doing this for personal gain, it is no secret I am a qualified Fide Instructor ( FI) as well as Fide Arbiter F.A.

It is therefore within my rights to organize events and to train just like in other sports there are coaches and referees who earn their living from there careers of coaching, I am proud to let you know that I earn my living from chess training, I am a professional chess trainer, let us not belittle the sport we passionately love. I will continue to protect my rights as a Kenyan Citizen even if it means Legal redress. Fellow players and stake holders lets sober up in our opinions towards developing this sport and avoid hatred. lets respect FIDE slogan: Gens una sumus: we are one family.

All African Games Dilemma

The current salemate about Chess Kenya leadearship seems to have placed the inclusion of a chess team at the forthcoming AAG in a quandary. Some sources claim that the Kenya National Sports Council has told CK to put its house in order before a chess team can be included while CK is sending letters to players informing that the qualifiers are still on. Let us wait and see

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Tragedy Of Chess Kenya

The new chess season is about to begin but who is really managing kenyan chess? CK did not hold the national championships last year: They were too busy minting 'Tritonite' kids money. With the All African games nearby the scent of more cash is irresisteble.

By Edwin Korir

Chess kenya has finally released its program of events for the calendar year 2011. The document signed by the chess kenya secretariat is bound to upset many local players due to the fact that most players consider the current office holders illegal. The Kenya national sports council has organized two meetings in the past to arbitrate the matter. On both occasions the meetings ended in a stalemate or a +/- advantage for Chess Kenya.

The first meeting in December nearly ended in a fist fight while another one held last month failed to take off due to the abscence of the CK officials. While chess players have been insisting that all players who participated in the national chess league should be allowed to vote in the AGM, CK on its part has been consistent that only registered members will vote. Most Senior chess players are not members of CK but are members of chess clubs registred with CK. Majority of CK members are juniors of kenyan Asians (mostly reffered to as 'tritonites').

The parents of this kids are not intrested in development of chess in kenya but the development of the childrens brains and a few junior international tournaments that CK seems to be a specialist at. The children start playing chess at early age but when they turn 18, they simply evaporate. The current kenyan chess scene has only one senior 'tritonite' ( no pun intened). Because most of kenyan Asian parents have no qualms about paying CK fees, CK has metarmophosed into some sort of chess day care centre.

In the December AGM comical discussions were held at the kenya chess forum. Several scenarios emerged with a possibility of six and seven year old kids electing the new CK officals. Alas, this dommsday scenario never took-off. Senior chess players having been abandonded by their parents have been forced to scavenge for themselves to avoid chess starvation. Several initiatives have been put in place to ensure chess food is put on the table. Checkmates club, Nairobi chess club and others have been organizing rapid and blitz championship on a regular basis. No G+90 tournament has taken place though.

With no proper body to organize tournaments all kinds of titles are mushrooming. Kenya blitz champion ( which seems to be contested everyday, EA blitz championships et al). As Wachira aptly puts it "chess is the hardest habit to kick", senoir players have been orgazing tournaments and in a positive note some are now held online.

The only serious activity CK has been undertaking for senior chess is anything that seems to have financial gain for them. First, the National chess league(bucause teams have to register to play=MONEY). Most clubs playing in the league are institutional teams that will pay CK fees with no questions asked. Secondly, the chess olympiad ( the official CK cash cow). Monetary gains from this event are immense; bribes from FIDE cadidates for votes, goverment subsidies, donations and many more.

The caveat emptor most kenyan players are sensing in the newly released CK calendar is money. With the all african games around the coner and the goverment having allocated Ksh 130,000 to each federation CK -get rich or die trying- scheme can be smelt from far.

CK real major failure has been to put in place a rating system. The last one was managed by Ben Magana until he stopped. Several players are trying their own versions of the same. With so many free rating software online one can only imagine why CK is not intrested. Another option would be to outsource the same to an individual or an ICT company, but because this involves use of money it will never happen.

CK failure to hold a national championship last year was to say the least disatrous. The kenya open has not been held for three years. With this and much more we should expect very hard times ahead.