Text: Westlands Chess Club
Photos: Paras Gudka and Jiten Sumaria
The inaugural WeCC Biannual Blitz Chess Championship was a roaring success in spite of a lower-than-expected turnout with some of the country’s top blitzers participating in the tournament. Fifteen chess players descended on WeCC headquarters at Coffee World (Slush) restaurant in Westlands on 11th March 2012 for a Sunday of exciting blitz chess action.
The unusual format saw 1 junior, 1 lady and 13 senior players battle it out over 10 rounds of ’5 minutes per player’ games in the first stage to choose the top 8 contestants for the second stage – the playoffs.
Favourite to win Kenneth Omollo seemed a bit rusty having been out of action for some time as he lost to Joseph Methu in his very first match and struggled to regain form in the early rounds. A plucky Leah Wanjiru, the only lady to participate in the tournament played till the end while Sumit Deshpande was the only junior courageous enough to take on the more experienced seniors.
At the end of an intense 10 rounds in the first leg, the following 8 qualified for the playoffs:
- Martin Oyamo – 8.5 points (out of 10)
- George Nderitu – 7 points
- Vasanth Ramesh – 6.5 points
- Kenneth Omollo – 6.5 points
- Jackson Kamau – 6.5 points
- Wang’ombe Mugo – 6 points
- Dr. Victor Ng’ani – 6 points
- Phillip Singe – 6 points
Two games each were played in 4 quarter-final matches (with a tie-breaker to decide eventual winner):
- Martin Oyamo (1) – (2) Jackson Kamau
- George Nderitu (1) – (2) Wang’ombe Mugo
- Vasanth Ramesh (1) – (2) Dr. Victor Ng’ani
- Kenneth Omollo (2) – (0) Phillip Singe
The semi-finals got more laborious with four games each being played in 2 semi-final matches:
|Jackson Kamau||1 (W)||0 (B)||0.5 (W)||0 (B)||1.5|
|Dr. Victor Ng’ani||0 (B)||1 (W)||0.5 (B)||1 (W)||2.5|
|Wang’ombe Mugo||0 (W)||1 (B)||1 (W)||1 (B)||3|
|Kenneth Omollo||1 (B)||0 (W)||0 (B)||0 (W)||1|
3rd and 4th Place Deciders
Jackson Kamau and Kenneth Omollo could not handle the pressure of the semis and met in the next round to decide 3rd and 4th places of the WeCC Biannual Blitz Chess Championship (March 2012 edition) after losing to Dr. Victor Ng’ani and Wang’ombe Mugo respectively:
|Jackson Kamau||0 (W)||0 (B)||0 (W)||- (B)||0|
|Kenneth Omollo||1 (B)||1 (W)||1 (B)||- (W)||3|
The most exciting part of the tournament began with finalists Dr. Victor Ng’ani and Wang’ombe Mugo having proved their mettle and stamina in the preceding rounds. 8 games would be played between the two with 3 tie-breakers to determine the inaugural WeCC Blitz Champion:
|Dr. Victor Ng’ani||0 (W)||0 (B)||1 (W)||0 (B)||0 (W)||1 (B)||1 (W)||1 (B)||4|
|Wang’ombe Mugo||1 (B)||1 (W)||0 (B)||1 (W)||1 (B)||0 (W)||0 (B)||0 (W)||4|
After 8 games, Dr. Victor Ng’ani and Wang’ombe Mugo were neck and neck with 4 points each after Dr. Ng’ani’s miraculous return winning the must-win last three games in style.
This meant a tie-breaker would have to be played. Between the organiser, arbiters and players, it was decided that 2 more games would be played using regular time controls (5 minutes per player) and a third Armageddon-style game would be played if the finalists were still tied.
Tie-Breakers for Finals
|Dr. Victor Ng’ani||0 (W)||1 (B)||1 (W)||2|
|Wang’ombe Mugo||1 (B)||0 (W)||0 (B)||1|
27 games after the tournament began, we finally had our champion—Dr. Victor Ng’ani, who through sheer perseverance and the grace of God (as he put it) beat 14 other contestants to lift the inaugural WeCC Biannual Blitz Chess Championship trophy!
Prize winners were as follows:
- 1st Place – Dr. Victor Ng’ani
- 2nd Place – Wang’ombe Mugo
- 3rd Place – Kenneth Omollo
- 4th Place – Jackson Kamau
- 5th Place – Martin Oyamo
- Best Dressed Player (Male) – Dr. Victor Ng’ani
- Best Dressed Player (Female) – Leah Wanjiru
The next edition of the WeCC Biannual Blitz Championship will be held on Sunday, 16th September 2012.
Updated WeCC ratings for two tournaments conducted so far can be seen at http://j.mp/WeCCratings.