(Photos by Allan Victor Rongoey; Memes by Zayan Zamir)

South Sudan’s James Madol Panchol (rated 1991) who had earlier won the 1st Oshwal Nairobi Blitz Chess Championship continued his winning streak by finishing unbeaten with 10 points from 10 rounds at the 1st Oshwal Nairobi Rapid Chess Championship (1st ONRCC) on Sunday, 10th April. He received Kenya shillings 3,000 in cash for his first-place finish.

James Madol Panchol giving the winner’s speech

Elvis Likoko (rated 1697), currently enrolled at Strathmore University and an alumnus of Alliance High School, finished second with 8 points. A defeat at the hands of Panchol and draws against Aguda Lwanga and Rocky Muchiri robbed him of the 2 points that could have seen him finish in first place.

Elvis Likoko (left) receiving his prize for 2nd Place from Niraj Shah, treasurer of Oshwal Sports Complex

Nairobi Chess Club’s Peter Gilruth (rated 2032) who was the top seed coming into the tournament couldn’t repeat his feat of winning the tournament as he had done the last time he played at Oshwal Sports Complex in April 2016 and finished in third place with 7 points. His losses came against Aguda, Panchol, and Elvis.

Peter Gilruth (left) receiving his prize for 3rd Place from Niraj Shah
1st ONRCC final standings after 10 rounds
A meme establishing Peter Gilruth as the favourite to win

Prizes included cash, medals, and gift vouchers. All prize winners were as follows:

  • 1st Place – James Madol Panchol / Kenya Methodist University / 10 pts
  • 2nd Place – Elvis Likoko / Strathmore University / 8pts
  • 3rd Place – Peter Gilruth / Nairobi Chess Club / 7 pts
  • Best Lady – WCM Joyce Nyaruai / KCB Chess Club / 6 pts
  • Best University Player – Michael Kiggs / Mount Kenya University / 5 pts
  • Best WeCCie – Caleb Marani / Westlands Chess Club / 7 pts
  • Best Junior Male (U18) – Aguda Lwanga / Nairobi Chess Academy & Club / 6.5 pts
  • Best Junior Female (U18) – Delina Shavadia / Oshwal Academy Nairobi / 4 pts
  • Best Junior (U12) – Reyansh Agarwal / Aga Khan Academy / 4 pts
Prize winners pose for a group photo (L-R): Reyansh Agarwal, Michael Kiggs, Peter Gilruth, Elvis Likoko, Delina Shavadia (front), Joyce Nyaruai (back), and James Madol Panchol
A meme that proved popular

The rapid tournament was 1 of 5 events that had been planned as part of the speed chess festival organised by Oshwal Sports Complex and Visa Oshwal Community.

Originally scheduled for 27th March, the Rapid Open tournament was postponed twice to allow for maximum participation and ended up attracting 39 entries by Saturday, 9th April. 38 players played on Sunday.

A view of the playing hall at Oshwal Sports Complex

Clubs that were represented included Westlands Chess Club with 5 players followed by Oshwal Academy Nairobi and Premier Academy with 4 each.

Meme depicting the popularity of Paras’s events amongst Premier Academy students

Nairobi Chess Club had 3 representatives while Anchor Chess Club, KCB Chess Club, and Lighthouse Chess Club had 2 representatives each.

Senior members of Westlands Chess Club (L-R): Dennis Ochieng, Jackson Okoth, Caleb Marani, and Paras Gudka

Of the 20 unrated players who participated, Ahmad Ashraf and Sarthak Patnaik are likely to get their FIDE Rapid ratings from this event in the May 2022 FRL (FIDE Rating List). Both met the minimum requirements of scoring at least 1 point against 5 rated players.

Participants waiting for the closing ceremony to begin

The organising team consisted of Paras Gudka and Niraj Prabhulal Shah.

The arbiting team consisted of FA Moses Maina and NA Christine Karoki.

The organising and arbiting teams pose for a group photo (L-R): Niraj Shah, FA Moses Maina, NA Christine Karoki, and IA Paras Gudka

Other event personnel included official photographer Allan Rongoey and official memer (meme creator) Zayan Zamir.

Official memer and participant Zayan Zamir contemplates his next move

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