Nairobi — Chess Kenya president Bernard Wanjala believes the recent Kenya Schools National Chess Championships is evidence that the sport is developing in all corners of the country.
Wanjala said the federation has always desired that chess becomes a major sport in Kenya and said the same has been realised through the school championships, which attracted 213 institutions.
“I am glad that chess is growing in every part of the country. The representation here is from every corner of the country, which means that every county is represented. This is what we have always been looking forward to,” Wanjala said.
The championships, held at the Moi Girls High School in Eldoret on Monday and Tuesday, featured 1,867 participants, a number described by the president as the highest ever in the annual competition.
“We registered 1,867 participants as at the close of registration. They were representing 213 schools… this is the highest number we have ever registered. From this group we are going to select the team to represent Kenya at the Africa Schools Chess Championships, which will be held later this year in Liberia,” he said.
Wanjala expects a busy in-tray for the federation with the Kenya National Chess Championships and the Mombasa Chess Championship yet to come.
In yesterday’s results, Plainsview Academy’s Nathaniel Munyoki and Kinderstart Kindergarten’s Ariela Telo were crowned champions after excelling in the under 7 category for boys and girls respectively.
Munyoki edged out second-placed Matis Ogola of Msingi School Academy after amassing eight points from eight wins out of eight.
Ogola finished with seven points, same as Sukari Presbyterian’s Liam Kanake who came third.
Telo was the best of five competitors in her category, collecting seven points to edge ahead of Breetaliza Amandah (Mudasa), Bliss Pendo (Msingi), Tiana Adams (Maria Loreto) and MayahAnnah (Makini School, Kisumu).
In the Under 11 category, Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Elizabeth Cassidy lost to Staicey Chebet on buchholz.
“This was one of the most difficult tournaments I have ever played. She (Cassidy) was not easy for me but I managed to break the barrier of winning through buchholz,”Chebet, from KBA School, said.
Cassidy and Chebet tied on 7.5 points out of eight.
In the Under 11 boys’ division, Christian Sportsview Talent Academy’s Mwamba Mugambi defeated Abel Taji through buchholz on 7.5 points.
Roots Academy’s Anabel Mideva clinched the under 9 girls title as Ramsa Wamaitha of Little Pearls Academy took second place.
In the Under 13 category, Maven Chess Club’s Paul Olando won with 7 out of 7 matches as Consolata’s Odongo Lwanga won the under 15 boys without dropping a point.
Amy Mutya emerged victorious in the under 15 girls’ category with seven points out of seven.