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

Thursday, September 8, 2011


The All African Games are currently taking place in Mozambique. The Kenyan team is composed of a variety of disciplines one of them being chess. Mehul Gohil who is part of the Kenyan chess team has been providing the Kenya chess forum with regular updates.

Hi guys,

You are not getting much info about woz going on here coz
technologically this country is a banana republic. Kenyan internet
standards are world class but here it is very difficult to get
connected to the world wide web. A modem costs about 7k shillings and
the hotel internet I am using now is costing 400 bob an hour (kenyan
currency) but KNSC have decided to foot the internet bills and maybe
we will get modems as well since it is an integral part of the chess

There are tons and tons of things I can tell you about. The first
three days here (Sunday - Tuesday) have been as action packed as any
human being outside a war zone or Kenya Chess Forum can hope for. It
feels like we have been here a whole year. In random fashion I will
tell you as much as I can but inevitably some things will be left


Johnny erroneously reported here that Kenya lost 4-0. The score was
actually 3.5-0.5. I got a draw in my first FIDE rated game (Torna is
FIDE rated with titles on offer...depending on how you score). I was
winning but fatigue resulted in some sloppy endgame technique and my
ELO 2257 opponent equalised. We should have done much better, infact
won this match as Akello blew a clear and 'éasy' draw against the
Angolan IM on Board 3. It came as a shock to us spectators when he
went Kf2 soemthing. Gateri had more or less a won position and then I
don't know what happened but he contrived to lose a piece.

The resistance level here is completely different from that of a
Kenyan torna. Fatigue is very real and after the round was over we
were finished. You have to think x10 more in games here. I have never
calculated more in my life in a single game. I got a clear advanatage
but then my opponents geared himself up and started playing a very
hard defense.

Akello and I were the last to finish our games which lasted 5 and a
half hours. I got to the hotel had a light dinner, hot shower and
crashed into bed. I think I'll die if I have to play two more rounds
like this.

We rested Magana against Angolo. Today we are playing Zimbabwe which
is powered by IM Robert Gwaze. We are resting Akello since we think he
needs to recover after his shattering loss (when the draw was so close
at hand). Plus he played a very good game. The IM never outplayed the
guy. Unfortunately tragic things happen in chess.


The venue for chess is absolutely stunning. I think it's the best
chess venue I have ever seen in my life. It's a place called Banco de
Mozambique Cultural Center. I will post some photos on my off day here
on KCF and on Facebook so that you take a look for yourself.

The arbiters are utter professionals. Very high standards. I have
never witnessed this before.

The who's who of African chess are all here. It's one hell of an
experience. As a chessplayer it's heaven. I would suggest the rest of
you get motivated to qualifiy for the next event as this thing is


This is where all the Bim Dhawo stuff begins. Oh boy...this has been
an adventure!!

Ok let me explain it chronilogically.

Arrival at Airport on Sunday Morning: Going through customs was a
breeze. We were treated like VIP and exited in record time...10
minutes...I kid you not...that's all the time it took from getting out
of the plane (after a rather scary landing experience with the plane
bumping around etc), claiming da luggage, passport check and getting
to the super luxury bus dedicated exclusively to the chess team.

Arrival at Olympic Village Sunday Midday: The village where the
athletes from all over Africa stay is a sprawling giant thing. Jesus,
it''s big. The newly built main stadium, aquatic stadium, dinning
place etc are all located within the vicinity. The whole place is like
a small town in itself. It's about 20km away from downtown Maputo.
It's well built, the rooms are spacious etc. Only problem was we were
amongst the first batches of athletes to arrive and the village was
not yet packed to capacity. The main contigents of the other countries
were yet to arrive. This fooled us into thinking we were in a real
cool place.

Sunday Afternoon & the chess team splits: There was an issue with
accomodation as it transpired that team Kenya (all sports disciplines)
could not fit everyone. So the ladies got a room whilst the men were
told to wait. So we waited by checking out the neighbourhood etc and
then four of us (Gorilla, G, Akello and Isabella) went to watch the
boxing which was in town. I will digress here and tell you about the
transport. First of all the Mozambique road infrastructure is simply
awesome. Even though Kenya is building all the flyovers and stuff we
are still no where near the mozambique level (internet is a different
thing). The AAG organisers have dedicated buses to all countries
individually. These are not your usual buses. They are more like 5
star spaceships. Even Horizon bus cannot compare. So we took one of
these to get to town. Now, if you thought watching boxing was boring
think again. On TV it looks soft. But I dare you to watch it in real
life and you'll realise this is a gruesome, bloody, violent and
addictive sport. Oh man, watching two guys kill each other is
incomparable entertainment. The boxing stadium was packed and the
noise level were at the level of the "deafening champ". We saw some of
our Kenyan boxers in action. I think one punch from any of these
boxing patzers would kill me. This guys are tough. When a guy punches
you can hear that punch from 20 meters away and smell the sweat and
blood. I am going to be going for all boxing matches at city hall from
now on.

Ok, so the boxing ended around 10pm and we made our way back to the
olympic village. When we got there all the other chessers had
disappeared!! Plus we didn't know our rooms...in fact we were told we
didn't have any rooms and to fend for ourselves!! With no mobile
contact we had no clue where the others were. After hustiling some
info we were told they had been relocated but us four left behind. The
Kenya sailing team, who turned out to be three good samaritans,
volunteered to give us a place in their room. Then we headed for a
late dinner at 12 midnight. On reaching the gigantic canteen all hell
broke lose as all the sports that were finishing at night and all the
athleted that checked in for late dinner like us (a couple of hundred)
found no food and long lines and the whole place became WWF. Guys like
me and Githinji almost had to duck under tables as massive amounts of
testestorone were unleashed. We grabbed whatever food we could get
hold off and got the hell of there.

We went to sleep at 4am.

The following day, due to the general chaos in the AAG organisation
(if you though CK was bad, you aint seen nothing), Kenya was almost
kicked out of the chess event because TM and coach did not realise the
deadline for registration was Monday morning. Therefore it turned out
that us four being 'lost' was a blessing in disguise as the others
were someplace else whilst at the olympic village we got wind that
registration deadline was at hand. Akello, Githinji and I got the
neccessary forms filled and signed etc. It turned out the arbiters
whilst very angry with us were also understanding and pretty cool
people. The event was to start on monday but just because of Kenya
they delayed till yesterday!!!

The next day, by pure luck the chess team got together.

We were relocated to a place 90 km out of Maputo and an hours drive
from the venue. The new location is a swanky 4 star hotel just on the
border of Mozambique and SA. We are very happy here.

Now, you might be asking how in the world do we get to the venue so
far out. Well, the AAG organisers whilst having problems with the
olympic village diablos as pretty efficient is some respects. The
chess team has been given an exclusive bus...a 60 seater 5 star
spaceship which takes us to and fro. That's not all, in order to cut
through traffic etc as fast as possible, we get a cop car in front of
us with the flashing lights and all telling people to get out of the
way whilst out bus cruises behind it...just like a presidential

More laters....sorry for any typos...had to type fast.........

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