World Championship Game 1: Gazellish start by Carlsen

By Team CEEAC

“I missed a move and had to pull the emergency brake and go for a draw” – Magnus Carlsen after Game 1.

Before Move 1. Image source: http://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-1/

Before Move 1. Image source: http://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-1/

World Champion Vishy Anand has snatched the match initiative. He left World No.1 Magnus Carlsen confused and disappointed after easily holding the draw after a mere 16 moves.

This match has been hyped by the international media as the biggest thing in chess since Fischer-Spassky 1972. Magnus Carlsen, aged 22, had already been touted as the greatest natural talent to ever play the game.  The ‘Mozart of Chess’ he is popularly known as. Over the last 3 years, his achievements in the biggest super grandmaster tournaments have been nothing short of exceptional. But already in Game 1 it appears the match format, where Anand has reigned supreme since winning the ultimate title in 2007, is proving a tough beast for Carlsen to tackle.

Carlsen, having the white pieces, had probably expected to put early pressure on Anand. With the Ogre of Baku himself, Garry Kimovich Kasparov, rumoured to be one of his seconds, one would have expected Carlsen’s opening to have had more bite and ambition. Instead, Anand, within the space of 10 moves, snuffed out Carlsen’s first-serve advantage and even developed a slight initiative. One is left wondering how Carlsen ended up preparing such a dud variation of the hybrid Reti/Grunfeld after seven months of intensive preparation.

It is clear, the pressure of the occasion is already telling on Carlsen. Futhermore, the international media, and possibly Carlsen himself, may have underestimated the hunger Anand has for retaining his title. The below photo showing the fire and determination on Anand’s face, tells the story of Game 1:

The World Champion enters the arena.

The World Champion enters the arena.

More thoughts on the chess aspects of Game 1 later in the article.

***

In East Africa, hundreds of chessers followed the live proceeding of the match which kicked of at 12:30pm on Saturday. On facebook, twitter and whatsapp, there were several interesting exchanges between the fans in the Anand and Carlsen camps. Indeed, the East African chess fraternity has over the last two months become polarized in their support for on or the other genius.

In Nairobi, a number of chessers gathered at the Nairobi Chess Club headquarters at Goan Gymkhana where a special ‘Live Chess Transmission Venue’ had been set up. Among them included Chess Kenya big wigs Githinji Hinga and Akello Atwoli. Mike Kinuthia, famous for having drawn against Grandmaster Dmitri Reinderman of Holland in an explosive game during the later’s tour of Kenya in 2011, was in the city (he is currently based in Kampala where he also trains) and was especially vocal about Carlsen’s lack of firepower.

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Some random comments by East African chessers who were spectating at Goan and elsewhere:

Ivy Amoko: (top Ugandan ladies player): What a boring round 1!

Paras Gudka (on his blog): If it were up to me, I would make the playing venue as similar to a boxing ring as possible with an atmosphere to match. Let the glass cage be on an imposing stage in the centre of a stadium or massive room with elevated seating such that the view gets better as the rows of seats move outwards around the “ring” and upwards from below stage level. Give both players noise-cancelling headphones and let the crowd make as much noise as possible. Let the players wear polarised sun glasses so that photographers can make the most of flash photography.

Githinji Hinga: Can we stop analysing like 1900 elo patzers?

Mushfig (Strong Azerbaijani-Kenyan trainer): I was hoping to eat lunch and dinner here. Didn’t think the game would be so short. Are they playing for fun or for the title?

Chitumbo Mwali (Zambian International Master): “Emergency Brakes” you gotta like Carlsen.

Ken Omolo: Photographers are very close to the players. I wonder if they will be able to concentrate. qQite different from other world championship stages!

Bruce Mubayiwa (Top South African chess organiser): Anand has always focused on chess and does not speak ill of his competitors. Go through as many Anand interviews as you can find. That speaks volumes of the man’s character. He is consistent.

Vasquo Lordez: This game was boring.

Harold Wanyama (Ugandan Fide Master): Forgive Carlsen. He made a patzerish move Qb3 that was suggested by the move hungry Kaidanz Atwoli as he even gave it an ‘!’. That move forced draw otherwise he would be suffering the entire game.

William Wachania: Anand had major problems with Gelfand. Once the Carlsen engines are fired up, it will be one hell of a match.

 

***
Game 2 starts at 12:30pm Sunday. Best place to view it live is at the official site: http://chennai2013.fide.com/

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Kenyan Sports Ministry Says No to Non-Citizens

Nairobi: In a landmark directive to the national chess federation of Kenya, the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts asserted on Tuesday, “that only Kenyan Citizens may represent Kenya as National Team Players according to Kenya’s Sports Policy” and asked the former to “observe this, forthwith”.

This directive came in the form of a letter signed by Commissioner of Sports, Gordon Oluoch after it was discovered that many “foreign players have been participating as members of the Kenya National Team in the game of Chess” when a group of parents complained to him about unfair practices by Chess Kenya in relation to the upcoming World Youth Chess Championships in Al Ain, UAE.

Copies of this letter were circulated at a contingency meeting held yesterday afternoon between Chess Kenya and parents of children who had qualified for the WYCC 2013 tournament.

The letter from Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts

The letter from Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts

The main team of 12 players (a boy and girl each in the U-8, U-10, U-12, U-14, U-16 and U-18 categories) will now be composed solely of Kenyan citizens and led by Rehema Maria Khimulu as Head of Delegation and John Mukabi as the other Chess Kenya official while players of foreign nationality who had previously qualified will now go as “additional players”.

Benefits afforded to the core contingent of 12 players and 2 officials by the organisers include: discounted FIDE fees, free lodging and all meals for the duration of the event. Chess Kenya has, on its part, announced that it will do its best to raise funds to cater for all expenses incurred in sending a well-prepared national team to Al Ain in December.

Additional players, on the other hand, pay higher FIDE fees and do not get free lodging or meals as they are not official representatives.

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Nigel Short wins Spicenet Tanzania Open – Winner’s Speech

Grandmaster Nigel Short (Elo 2682) won the Spicenet Tanzania Open with a 6/6 performance after seeing off a tough challenge in the final round from International Master Elijah Emojong. Here is Short’s speech at the closing ceremony:

Nigel Short giving his winner’s speech at the Spicenet Tanzania Open

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Player experiences of the Spicenet Open: Martin ‘Vasquo’ Wagah

Martin 'Vasqou' Wagah (R) posing with Romanian Grandmaster Alina L'Ami (L)

Martin ‘Vasqou’ Wagah (R) posing with Romanian Grandmaster Alina L’Ami (L)

By Martin ‘Vasquo’ Wagah

As the diversion of kings and his counsel men, and as the oldest sport known to man, the game of chess has always made good men better and evil men viler: in war, to be the captain of your own fate, and in life, the master of your own destiny.

With your mind as your sole artillery, you are faced by a force to reckon: a foe conspiring with his gods to creatively compose your calamitous fate. Every move must be calculated with robotic precision, assailing your opponent from various quarters at once, displaying the valor of a beast and the caution of a sage. To survive, your faculties must be disciplined by the indelible instruction of experience and guided by the effulgence of raw genius, as you strive to triumph over the vexation of your own soul to cowardice. In the end, analyzing a game of chess arouses in men such tempestuous feelings that one may imagine himself walking across a battlefield.

Tanzania is hardly a foreign land, but the winds were unwelcoming: hot and adverse, as if in protest of my purpose there. In the presence of masters, one must be careful not to overestimate himself. The old Grand Master, beardless, white as marble, and with a cold face marked with intellect, towered above us in height and might, mechanically distilling the attacks unleashed by the best of us, and like a beast in its lair, abandoned his half-eaten opponent, to pace slowly across the room as if looking into our innermost nature, our thoughts, as a scientist in pursuance of some character examines the object of his study. Our methods often proved efficacious against our rivals, and fleeting successes and failures of each day instructed us to be wiser in the next, in this infinite journey that is the mastery of chess.

Martin ‘Vasquo’ Wagah, playing in his first international FIDE rated event, posted a commendable 2.5/6 score at the Spicenet Open.

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What’s New at CEEAC: Weekly Digest and YouTube Channel

By Paras Gudka

With our new Executive Editor Mehul Gohil away in Dar es Salaam for the Spicenet Tanzania Open Chess Championship where he is a player (and CEEAC journo), I thought I would get cracking on some long overdue improvements to this website and how content on it reaches you.

The CEEAC Weekly Digest

Starting today (Sunday, 16th June 2013), you will be able to subscribe to a weekly digest of all new content on CEEAC sent direct to your email inbox via our MailChimp mailing list. All you have to do is click on this link: http://eepurl.com/A1KLH, fill out the form with your name and email address and then check your email to confirm the subscription. Once your subscription is confirmed, you will receive an email every Sunday morning at 8 am (East African Time – GMT + 3 hrs) with the entire week’s blog posts in it.

Those of you already on the mailing list need not do anything—you will now receive just 1 email every week instead of 1 every day when new content is posted on CEEAC.

CEEAC on Social Media

Did you know that Chess Events EAC is one of the most social media savvy chess websites out there? Apart from a presence on Facebook, Twitter and recently Google+, we also have a channel on YouTube where videos shot by our reporters will be uploaded. If you missed out on participating in the Spicenet Tanzania Open tournament, don’t fret—Mehul Gohil will take you on a walk of the tournament hall in this YouTube video:

I have tried to make it easier for you to connect with us on social media by updating the sidebar on the home page and all other pages. Apart from the ability to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ with one click, you will now be able to see the latest CEEAC video on it too.

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My next move will be to work with the Executive Editor in improving presentation of content on this site so if you have ideas or want to volunteer your WordPress/PHP skills in making it happen write to us on info[@]chesseventseac[.]com (without the square brackets).

Like the changes/Don’t like the changes? Let us know in the comments section below.

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UCF Press Release: Emojong, Nsubuga with 2/2 after Day 1 of Spicenet Open.


By Vianney Luggya

Uganda’s recently crowned International Master Elijah Emojong and Haruna Nsubuga are enjoying an early joint lead with British GM Nigel Short and Romanian WGM Alina L’Ami by winningtheir first two games in the ongoing Spicenet Tanzania Open. The event runs from 14th to 16th June, 2013.

Emojong beat Primulus Kasaija and fellow country man Raphael Buti in the first and second rounds respectively while Nsubuga beat Lakhani Navichanbdra Karsandas and Emmanuel Mwaisumbe. Buti who lost to Emojong is on one point out of a possible two.

Third and fourth rounds continue on Saturday 15th June 2013. A total of 6 rounds will be played in the FIDE rated event arbitrated by Uganda’s FA Stephen Kisuze.

GM Short registered two quick wins against Jobin John  and Bujji Yarlagadda.

A total of 66 players from Kenya, Zanzibar, India, UK, Romania, Tanzania and Uganda are slugging it out for the top prize of 1,000,000/= Tanzania shillings staked by event sponsors Spicenet Tanzania Limited. There are cash prizes for the top five players totalling two million Tanzania shillings.

The biggest upset in the first two rounds was a hard fought draw that Kenya’s Collins Young pulled off against Zambian IM Gillian Bwalya.

IM Elijah Emojong is a happy man at the end of Day One at the Spicenet Open.

IM Elijah Emojong is a happy man at the end of Day One of the Spicenet Open.

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Spicenet Tanzania Open: Official Press Release

Official Press Release

By Tanzania Chess Association

Dar es Salaam, Thursday June 13, 2013:
With the arrival of Grandmasters Nigel Short  and Alina L’Ami from the UK and Romania respectively, it is now obvious that the upcoming Spicenet Tanzania Open Chess Championships 2013 (which will kick off tomorrow, Friday June 14, 2013) is going to be one of the toughest ever held in East Africa.

Organized by the Tanzania Chess Association and sponsored by Spicenet Tanzania, the tournament will run for three consecutive days from 14th June – 16th June 2013 at Golden Jubilee Tower (Meru Conference Hall), Ohio Street in the city of Dar es Salaam. The event is rated by FIDE (World Chess Federation) and will consist of players from Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Romania, India and the UK.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam today, Grandmaster Nigel Short said he is delighted to be in Tanzania for this tournament and congratulated the Tanzania Chess Association and Spicenet Tanzania for the excellent preparation.

One her side, Romanian Grandmaster Alina L’Ami said that she is confident the tournament will be great because of the professional organisation and the number of internationally rated players who are participating in the championship.

Tanzania Chess Association chairman Geoffrey Mwanyika said that everything is set for tomorrow’s games and they expect stiff competition as there is a collection of renowned players taking part. “We are very happy to see that this tournament is actually one of the most competitive in East Africa. This will definitely encourage our players to work hard to compete with other experienced players” said Mwanyika, adding “We believe that after this tourney, chess will never be the same again in Tanzania. This is the beginning of Chess prosperity not just on our country, but regionally.”

Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a 64 square chessboard arranged in and 8×8 grid. It is a recognized sport by the International Olympic Committee and is regulated by the World Chess Federation (FIDE).

In Tanzania the game of chess was managed by the Tanzania Chess Association which was formed and registered under the National Sports Council in 1984, and until 1998 the game was actively played. After that it became dormant until 2010 when it was initiated again and in 2012 the Interim Committee was formed to run Tanzania Chess Association.

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Chess Kenya visit Kajiado school

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By Brian Kidula

One of the core strategic aims of the new Chess Kenya office is to put in place a national ‘Chess In Schools’ programme. In line with this, and because of my recent appointment as head of the PR and Marketing Committee in Chess Kenya, I took the initiative to take up the invitation of Mr. Mugambi, a teacher at Mainflow Preparatory School, to visit the school and bolster their ongoing chess programme.

I picked up Chess Kenya chairman, Secretary General and Office Clerk – Githinji Hinga, Akello Atwoli and Moses Andiwoh, respectively – and National Team trainer, John Mukabi, at 11:00am on Thursday, 6th June. We drove to Ngong in Kajiado District where the school is located.

We were greeted on arrival by Mr. Mugambi, who teaches IT at the school, and the Principal, Mrs. Alice Munene. They gathered the students in Standards 2-6 for the chess lesson that we would give. The Standard 7-8 students unfortunately could not attend because they had to prepare for an exam.

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The principal mentioned the school started chess lessons in February this year. The main motivation was to discover a way to improve student performance at general studies. Mrs. Munene did her research and then incorporated chess lessons into the school ciriculum. The school has been monitoring the usefulness of this method by doing its own assessments: the results have so far proven that students who were lazy are now more focused in class and exam scores of several other students have improved. This further motivated the school principal to take the chess aspect a level higher.

The school used the British Chess Federation book “Know the Game of Chess” to teach the kids. The school has an inventory of twenty chess boards.

Githinji Hinga and Akello Atwoli, who have also played in the National Chess Team, gave the gathered kids a few crucial chess tips. John Mukabi took on five of the kids simultaneously. Later, the visiting Chess Kenya team addressed the kids on the virtues and benefits of chess.

image_15 Mukabi Simul

Chess Kenya plans to build on this by inviting the school to play in the qualifiers for the National Junior Team next month, provide the school with a chess curriculum, send trainers and equip the school with extra chessboards so that the kids can take the next step. Chess Kenya firmly believes that some of these kids will rise up to become future champions of the game. This trip has also served to motivate officials of the National Federation to try and replicate what is happening at Mainflow Preparatory School in other schools nationwide.

Brian Kidula is chairman of the Chess Kenya Public Relations and Marketing Committee.

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Gohil Appointed Executive Editor of Chess Events EAC

By Paras Gudka

Two years and seven months ago I started Chess Events EAC out of frustration at not receiving timely information on upcoming tournaments and missing quite a few because of that. Since then, the website has evolved into an online magazine of sorts offering information on future events, reports on past events, first-hand accounts by Gorillainterviews with GMs and a lot more.

Over the past 6 months, I have struggled to keep the information on this site flowing with my many responsibilities and struggles with health and so I have finally decided to bring on board someone with more energy and time to dedicate to chess journalism.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mehul “Gorilla” Gohil as Chess Events EAC’s new Executive Editor. Apart from being one of Kenya’s strongest chess players, he is also a writer of note having been chosen for last year’s Caine Prize Workshop in South Africa and has contributed a variety of entertaining reports to Chess Events EAC (CEEAC – pronounced ‘see-AK’) since its inception.

I caught up with the effervescent new editor to discuss the future of CEEAC and talk about the current chess scene in East Africa.

Mehul 'Gorilla' Gohil the chess reporter at the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey

Mehul ‘Gorilla’ Gohil the chess reporter at the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey

Welcome to Chess Events EAC as its Executive Editor. Now that you are in charge of all content published on the website, what is the first thing you are going to change about the site?

Mehul: A change in philosophy. The website has followed a conservative route so far. Chess news has been reported in a dry and detached manner. It’s like the pieces that have come off the board are talking about an attack on the long dark squared diagonal. The pieces have to be a part of the actual game to know what is really going on. Chess is drama. Chess is emotions. Chess is a lifestyle with a rich history to boot. Everyday a Kenyan chess player thinks one hundred thousand chess thoughts. He or she reads the forum, eats passed prawns for lunch, cheats on his girlfriend or her boyfriend by hooking up with fellow addicts, on a Tuesday evening at WeCC, to play some blitz or tell stories about what happened in Elista 1998. I want to capture these things in the style of reporting.

Mehul with top chess journalist Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam at the Istanbul Olympiad

Mehul with top chess journalist Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam at the Istanbul Olympiad

I would also like to change the visual presentation. Currently, the website has a mono-dimensional theme. News items are presented piece by piece, one has to scroll down to the next item. I would like to see a multifarious style of presentation. The front page capturing a long shot made up of news, game analysis, videos and other royal game miscellany; allowing the reader to take in the whole chessboard in a single glance. But I am no IT expert and will be relying on the original creator of the website to help me out. This change will be a gradual process.

You come in at a time when chess is witnessing a rebirth of sorts in East Africa. Do you have a strategy in place for taking advantage of this increase in activity and publishing regular reports for readers of CEEAC?

Mehul: A six pronged strategy:

NEWS COLLECTION POINT – I will continue the excellent tradition the website has had of gathering news from various chess hotspots in the region. I will continue to urge national federations, clubs and individuals in the region to show what is happening where they are.

GAMES ANALYSIS: Dissecting moves is a largely uncharted area when it comes to chess websites, blogs and social media pages in the region. I believe this has played some role in sinking Kenya into the bottom regions of the world rankings. Nowadays, it is vital for a competitive player to keep up to date with the latest trends in the openings. Even the middle and endgame phases are undergoing constant re-evaluation. Chess is an information-heavy game and chess thought is constantly evolving. Constant practice and updating of skills and increasing one’s store of chess knowledge are vital for improvement. I want to introduce columnists who can regularly discuss chess moves on a website. I want players at large to contribute to this process. One does not need to be a titled player in order to talk about chess moves in an instructive way.

GAMES DATABASE: I want to makes CEEAC a depository of local chess games. Kenya has no games database to speak of. This has been a woeful omission on the part of previous Chess Kenya regimes and current and past tournament organisers. Kenyan players are made to keep score of their games but what happens to the scoresheets tournament after tournament? It’s time we started building a database of local games. It will help upcoming players get into the habit of scouring through a database, filtering out what is important, analyse the selected games and develop one’s own pathway from opening to middlegame and so on. These are permanent habits any upcoming player must develop in order to eventually tackle international competition.

CHESS LIFESTYLE: Chess reporting should not be only about bare tournament statistics and PGN files of chess games. I want to have CEEAC reports that show the chess life that exists beyond the board: Ben Magana scratching his beard as he thoughtfully looks across the tournament hall, the humidity levels in Dar-es-Salaam, the bus-ride to Kampala, the hairstyles of the Kenyan chess queens outbound to Norway, Gorilla’s bad and very right-slanted handwriting on the scoresheet, the chat over lunch as Machakos road runner drumsticks are destroyed, players discussing Zambian chess politics and the bad manners of Egyptian grandmasters, the player smoking his cigarette outside Jericho Social Hall.

EXPLOITING CEEAC’s EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE: As the new Executive Editor, I inherit a 4 lane dual-carriage internet highway running from here until Vision 2030. CEEAC has presence on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube. But this infrastructure needs to be put to use. No point of that internet highway existing if no chess players are going to drive on it. Fully utilising this highway will mean greater outreach. I would like to see CEEAC becoming one of the best chess websites in the world. This is very possible. Kenya might not get a World Champion or three super grandmasters by 2030 but the internet gives us the chance to beat first world chess nations in the reporting game. And, for starters, we have a whole niche called Africa all to ourselves.

GETTING THE PLAYERS INVOLVED: It will be impossible to achieve the above without support from players at large. They will need to step in and provide the reports, the game analysis and help with developing the local games database. Clubs and the National Federation will also have to get involved. The increased activity will automatically generate interest in CEEAC. If players, clubs and the National Federation see that CEEAC is regularly churning out news they will want to be a part of the action. One of the positive traits of Kenyan chess is that the players like to be involved in constructive things. It’s a trait that has been hidden in the fog of the chess mess of the last decade or so. The sun is now shining, the fog has lifted. Time to rediscover this trait. Furthermore, the East African chess rebirth will widen the chess networks. This will create possibilities of getting reports from Zambia and Nigeria and so on. The idea is to one day turn Chess Events East Africa into Chess Events Africa.

What do you think of recent developments at Chess Kenya and the new team that took over from the ICKC? Will they deliver?

Mehul with then teammate Githinji Hinga (now Chess Kenya Chairman) at the Istanbul Olympiad

Mehul with then teammate Githinji Hinga (now Chess Kenya Chairman) at the Istanbul Olympiad

Mehul: I would not like to call it ‘the new team’. I would like to call it ‘the new era’. We have basically deleted our past. The problem was never the Chess Kenya constitution or so on. It was the people running Chess Kenya. You can have the best constitution but with the wrong people in charge only bad things happen. We are starting afresh. Chess Kenya is now all of us. This was not the case before. Before it was them and us. It is not a question of ‘will they deliver?’ It is a question of ‘will we deliver?’ I do think we now have the right people in Chess Kenya. The institution is now totally accessible and a difference can already be felt. Chess politics is no longer the main topic of discussion. Today, players are more interested in seeing the game grow rather than fighting a pawn chain of congambits. The congambits have been checkmated. They are no longer the world champions.

The entire chess community of East Africa was abuzz recently with talk of Ugandan Elijah Emojong’s fantastic performance at the Zone 4.2 Africa Chess Championship in Egypt where he finished second overall with 7.5 points in 9 rounds after defeating 3 Egyptian IMs and two other titled players from Egypt and Sudan. Now that his IM title has been confirmed, what does that mean for other strong players from the region?

Mehul: As East African chessplayers, we have always underestimated ourselves. Now Emojong has shown what we are really capable of. This will fire up aspiring players in the region and they will sooner or later build on what Emojong is doing.

Rumour has it that GM Nigel Short will be participating in the Spicenet Tanzania Open Chess Championship on 14-16 June in Dar es Salaam. Your thoughts on this?

Mehul: It is no longer a rumour. He is going to play. People are going to travel to Dar-es-Salaam just because Nigel Short is playing. Chess has made me understand why people would engage in idol worship. Why they would make statues of gods and bow down to them in respect. People like me have gone through Nigel Short games, have read and reread stories of his exploits. He has become a mythical chess super hero. And now we get a chance to play in the same tournament as him. There is something magnetic about this. Just like that I feel the need to make a pilgrimage to Dar-es-Salaam. I could light-up an incense stick in front of a Nigel Short book and pray to it. There is no logic to it but at the same time it makes complete sense. This is like going out for beers with your gods. And I will soon be having beer with Nigel Short, the god of English chess.

I wish you all the best in turning CEEAC into one of Africa’s premier chess websites as you take over the reins from me.

To get in touch with Mehul, write to info[@]chesseventseac[.]com.

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KE: Gilruth, Daud Lead PEPO With 4 Points

After 4 rounds of hard-fought battles on 4th and 5th May at the Simba Union Sikh Club, Nairobi, veteran ex-Olympian Peter Gilruth and “Eastleigh assassin” Mowliid Daud emerged as joint leaders at the Post Election Peace Open (PEPO) tournament with 4 points each. Gilruth’s wins came from David Bol (w/over), Issa Kassim, Abdinasir Burale and Geoffrey Mulaga while Daud’s unlucky victims included Kellen Daniel, Zakaria Jok Mading, George Githui and Bryan Toboso. The titans are now set to clash in Round 5 where the winner of the match is most likely to also win the tournament and take home a top prize of KSh 10,000.

Peter Gilruth (far left) takes on Geoffrey Mulaga in their Round 4 encounter

Peter Gilruth (far left) takes on Geoffrey Mulaga in their Round 4 encounter

Trailing them closely are Joseph Maigua and Moses Andiwoh (Westlands Chess Club) with 3.5 points followed by 11 players on 3 points including Mehul “Gorilla” Gohil who famously declared that he was here to win the tournament and reclaim his position as Kenya number 1 on the national rating list after it was snatched from him by the reigning national champion Ben Magana over the long Easter weekend.

The 7-round event is the first chess tournament to be hosted by Simba Union Sikh Club in many years and has garnered the support of companies such as Parch Play, IMAX Kenya, Chilli Mango and Nairobi Sports House who are sponsoring a unique array of prizes that range from hard cash to movie tickets to funky t-shirts for the youth. A total of 27 prizes with a cash prize fund of KSh 62,000 will be awarded for categories such as ‘Challengers’, ‘Best Lady’, ‘Best University Players’, ‘Best Junior Players’ and more.

Round 5 starts at 10 am sharp on Saturday, 11th May.

For updates on the tournament:

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