(Photos by Ami Mehta, Niraj Shah, and Christine Karoki)

Krishiv Jitendra Shah, Vyom Kunjal Shah, and James Madol Panchol emerged winners of the 1st Oshwal Nairobi Speed Chess Festival held on Saturday, 26th March at Oshwal Academy Nairobi Primary.

Krishiv Shah receiving his prize for 1st Place (Boys) from OANP Head Teacher Anjana Vijayan

The three tournaments that they won were: 1st Oshwal Nairobi Rapid Youth Chess Championship — Under 10, 1st Oshwal Nairobi Rapid Youth Chess Championship — Under 18, and 1st Oshwal Nairobi Blitz Chess Championship respectively.

Vyom Shah receiving his prize for 1st Place from VOC Chairperson Jinit Shah
James Panchol receiving his prize for 1st Place from Ronak Shah
Deputy Chief Arbiter Eliel Berur assisting a player in the Under 10 section tournament

In the Under 10 section tournament, Krishiv finished with 6 points from 7 rounds along with Prayan Gupta who, unfortunately, had a lower tiebreak score making Krishiv the overall winner. A total of 7 prizes—6 medals and 1 gift voucher worth KES 500—were awarded to the best 3 boys, best 3 girls, and best WeCCie (Westlands Chess Club member). 

Games ongoing in the Under 10 section

All prize winners in the U10 tournament:

  • 1st Place (Boys) – Krishiv Shah / Oshwal Academy Nairobi Primary / 6 pts
  • 2nd Place (Boys) – Prayan Gupta / Oshwal Academy Nairobi Primary / 6 pts
  • 3rd Place (Boys) – Aarjav Mishra / Oshwal Academy Nairobi Primary / 4.5 pts
  • 1st Place (Girls) – Jewel Hawi / Eastlands Juniors Chess Club / 5 pts
  • 2nd Place (Girls) – Elsie Kevin / Eastlands Juniors Chess Club / 5 pts
  • 3rd Place (Girls) – Leticia Blessings / Eastlands Juniors Chess Club / 5 pts
  • Best WeCCie – Kavish Bhavesh Jakhariya / Westlands Chess Club / 4.5 pts

Jewel Hawi receiving her prize for 1st Place (Girls) from OANP Head Teacher Anjana Vijayan
Kavish Jakhariya receiving his prize for Best WeCCie from Paras Gudka

In the Under 18 section tournament, Vyom emerged the clear winner with 6.5 points from 7 rounds, his only draw coming against second runner-up Zayan Zamir. A total of 3 prizes (of the 4 on offer)—3 medals and 3 gift vouchers worth KES 500—were awarded.

Games ongoing in the Under 18 section

All prize winners in the U18 tournament:

  • 1st Place (Overall) – Vyom Kunjal Shah / Oshwal Academy Junior High / 6.5 pts
  • 2nd Place (Overall) – Sai Jayanth Bomma / Premier Academy / 5.5 pts
  • 3rd Place (Overall) – Zayan Zamir / Premier Academy / 5.5 pts

Zayan Zamir receiving his prize for 3rd Place from VOC Chairperson Jinit Shah

Both the Under 10 and Under 18 sections saw 7 rounds being played at a time control of 15 minutes flat per player per game with Swiss system pairings (where players with roughly the same points meet each other in every round).

The unrated Under 10 event attracted 28 entries of which 26 played their games. The FIDE-rated Under 18 event attracted 11 players all of whom played their games. Both events happened concurrently on Saturday morning from 9 am to 1 pm.

The Under 18 tournament will see top seed Zayan Zamir get his FIDE Rapid rating based on his FIDE Standard rating of 1225 while winner Vyom’s existing FIDE Rapid rating of 1080 will increase by 4 points in the April 2022 FRL (FIDE Rating List).

In the Blitz Open event on Saturday afternoon, Panchol had won the tournament with a round to spare and finished with 11 points from 12 rounds, his only defeat coming at the hands of first runner-up Griffins William Ongaki. A total of 7 prizes—KES 8,700 cash, 2 medals, and 2 gift vouchers worth KES 500—were awarded.

Aerial view of the playing hall during the Blitz Open tournament

All prize winners in the Blitz tournament:

  • 1st Place – James Madol Panchol / Kenya Methodist University / 11 pts
  • 2nd Place – Griffins Williams Ongaki / Elite Chess Academy & Club / 8.5 pts
  • 3rd Place – Aguda Lwanga / Nairobi Chess Academy & Club / 8.5 pts
  • Best Veteran – Charles Karoli Lwanga / Nairobi Chess Academy & Club / 8 pts
  • Best Lady – Fathima Mohamed Mohideen / Nairobi Chess Academy & Club / 6.5 pts
  • Best WeCCie – Caleb Marani / Westlands Chess Club / 7 pts
  • Best Junior (Male) – Viraj Bhaveshu Shah / Anchor Chess Club / 7.5 pts
  • Best Junior (Female) – Fathima Mohamed Mohideen / Nairobi Chess Academy & Club / 6.5 pts

Bliz Open prize winners pose for a group photo (L-R): Fathima Mohamed, Caleb Marani, Karoli Lwanga, Aguda Lwanga, Madol Panchol, and Griffins Williams

The FIDE-rated blitz tournament saw 12 rounds being played at a time control of 3 minutes plus 2 seconds increment per move from move 1 per player per game with Swiss system pairings.

A total of 25 players participated in the Blitz tournament from 2 to 5 pm, a majority of them representing Nairobi Chess Academy & Club and Oshwal Academy Nairobi (4 players each), followed by Anchor Chess Club and Premier Academy (3 players each), with other clubs having 1 representative each.

Karoli Lwanga and Fathima Mohamed of Nairobi Chess Academy & Club face each other in the Blitz tournament

At least 5 unrated players—Calvince Ouko, Amos Wangui, Sai Bomma, Martin Schondelmaier, and Krishiv Shah—will receive their FIDE Blitz ratings from this tournament in the April 2022 FRL.

Organised by Oshwal Sports Complex and supported by Oshwal Education and Relief Board, Westlands Chess Club, and Chess Kenya Federation, the 1st Oshwal Nairobi Speed Chess Festival events saw the return of chess activity to the Visa Oshwal Community Nairobi after a gap of almost 5 years.

The organising team consisted of Nitin Mansukhlal Shah, Vimal Gala, Niraj Prabhulal Shah, and Paras Gudka.

The arbiting team consisted of IA Paras Gudka, NA Eliel Berur, and NA Christine Karoki.

Arbiters (L-R): IA Paras Gudka, NA Christine Karoki, and NA Eliel Berur

A FIDE-rated rapid open tournament that was to happen on 27th March as part of the festival has been postponed to Sunday, 10th April pending confirmation from the organising team. Details will be communicated in good time.

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