In a bid to give equal representation to all formats of chess, Nairobi Chess Club, with tournament sponsor Aslam Adam, hosted its first tournament of the year – the Fizza Blitz Chess Invitational tournament at Goan Gymkhana on Saturday, 19th February 2011.
Comparable to the Twenty20 format of cricket, the ‘blitz’ format of chess is its shortest where each player usually has 5 minutes to bang out his/her moves before a result can be determined.
The Fizza Blitz Chess Invitational, named after the sponsor’s grand-daughter, saw eight hand-picked chess maestros competing for a grand prize of KShs 10,000 with the club’s own secretary, Mehul Gohil–considered favourite to win the competition–finishing in second place with a cash prize of KShs 5,000.
Each invitee battled the other twice, in a Swiss style double round robin cycle with a 15-minute break in between the two rounds. Veteran Martin Gateri eventually took the first prize with a solid second-round performance of 7 wins out of 7 games with Githinji Hinga finishing in third place.
The blitz tournament paves the way for NCC’s second edition of the Nairobi Chess League where legendary teams such as the Mighty Pawns have confirmed participation after over a decade of being in retirement. For more information on these and other tournaments, visit www.facebook.com/NairobiChessClub.