With a rather dry start to 2016 where chess tournaments go, Nairobi Chess Club’s annual Capablanca Cup tournament (now in its sixth year) over the weekend of February 20-21 was the much needed fountain to quench our Kenyan chessers’ thirst for competition.
I, too, would have been lapping away merrily amongst them in the hope to achieve my initial standard rating but this time arbitration duties beckoned. I wasn’t complaining though. To be Chief Arbiter of an event of the magnitude of Capablanca Cup was an honour and an excellent opportunity to practice what I learnt almost two years ago at a FIDE trainers’ seminar in humid New Delhi.
This column’s previous author, Brian Kidula, who is on a much-deserved break from writing after 3 years of diligence week after week, was also at Braeburn School, nursing a cold and hiding from his opponents in the Prestige section under a grey hoodie.
For me, the highlight of the tournament was the game between Mehul Gohil and Joseph Kirega in Round 1 of the Prestige section where despite his years of experience playing at the highest levels, Mehul fell for a basic trap against his much lower-rated opponent in the Queen’s Gambit Declined opening. Read More