Photos: Kim Bhari and Paras Gudka
Nairobi Chess Club continued their trailblazing ways over the weekend of 11th and 12th February 2012 when they hosted a very strong contingent from Uganda for the first ever exhibition match between the club (represented by the NCC Simbas) and them. It is believed that this was the first time a FIDE rated exhibition match between a club and a national side was conducted on Kenyan soil. The historic match was dubbed the “Battle for Migingo*” and held at NCC’s home ground – Goan Gymkhana.
*Migingo is a small island with 131 inhabitants in the middle of Lake Victoria which is claimed by both Uganda and Kenya.
Team Uganda comprised of Harold Wanyama, Bob Bibasa, Arthur Ssegwanyi and Haruna Nsubuga while the NCC Simbas comprised of Peter Gilruth, Ben Magana, Githinji Hinga and Mehul Gohil.
Four matches were played with Uganda thrashing the Kenyans 4-0, 2.5-1.5 and 4-0 respectively in the first three rounds before the Kenyans rallied to salvage some pride by winning 2.5-1.5 in the last match.
In the first round match, Wanyama sacrificed a bishop to beat Mehul Gohil; Bibasa converted a pawn advantage to win against Githinji Hinga; Arthur Ssegwanyi beat Ben Magana and Haruna Nsubuga pulled off a surprise win against Peter Gilruth (the highest rated and perhaps Kenya’s most experienced).
Matches were transmitted live via playchess.com and spectators logged in from all over the world. This was only the second time in recent years that games were made available live on the popular chess portal.
Round 1 – Team Uganda (4) v/s NCC Simbas (0)
- Harold Wanyama (1) – Mehul Gohil (0)
- Githinji Hinga (0) – Bob Bibasa (1)
- Arthur Ssegwanyi (1) – Ben Magana (0)
- Peter Gilruth (0) – Haruna Nsubuga (1)
Round 2 – Team Uganda (2.5) v/s NCC Simbas (1.5)
- Bob Bibasa (0) – Peter Gilruth (1)
- Mehul Gohil (0.5) – Arthur Ssegwanyi (0.5)
- Haruna Nsubuga (1) – Githinji Hinga (0)
- Ben Magana (0) – Harold Wanyama (1)
Round 3 – Team Uganda (4) v/s NCC Simbas (0)
- Arthur Ssegwanyi (1) – Peter Gilruth (0)
- Ben Magana (0) – Bob Bibasa (1)
- Harold Wanyama (1) – Githinji Hinga (0)
- Mehul Gohil (0) – Haruna Nsubuga (1)
Round 4 – Team Uganda (1.5) v/s NCC Simbas (2.5)
- Peter Gilruth (1) – Harold Wanyama (0)
- Bob Bibasa (0.5) – Mehul Gohil (0.5)
- Githinji Hinga (0) – Arthur Ssegwanyi (1)
- Haruna Nsubuga (0) – Ben Magana (1)
While the Ugandans won on the boards, the Kenyans were the victors off the boards, putting together a very well organised event under good playing conditions. This was all courtesy of Nairobi Chess Club Vice-Chairman Peter Gilruth and Tarpo Industries Ltd who fully sponsored the trip and upkeep of Uganda’s players in Nairobi.
Uganda is expected to return the favour early next year when they host Nairobi Chess Club in Kampala for the next leg of the ‘Migingo Cup’.