Photos by Thayu Macharia, Samuel Nderitu, and Paras Gudka

Mombasa County’s strongest chess player by rating (and reputation) Sajid Nurmohamed retained his ‘Boss of Mombasa Chess’ title on Sunday by winning the Pre Mombasa Open Practice (PMOP) tournament with 4.5 points out of a possible 5. The Lighthouse Chess Club member’s only draw came at the hands of James Njuguna Mwangi in the final game. 

Group photo of all prize winners of the Pre Mombasa Open Practice Chess Tournament

Group photo of all prize winners. Back row (L-R): Kelvin Kapino, Daniel Nyamu, Samuel Wafula, Sajid Nurmohamed. Front row (L-R): Shubh Shah, Lemuel Manyala, Jamie Kanango, Genevieve Maashao.

This 5-round rapid tournament was the second OTB (over-the-board) event in Mombasa County after the CtG Pilot Tournament held in September and the first FIDE-rated event since the pandemic began. The tournament was held to help players (juniors in particular) get some practice ahead of the 2021 Mombasa Open event and for more of them to get their FIDE rapid ratings.

A view of the playing hall at Khadija Secondary School, Kisauni

A view of the playing hall at Khadija Secondary School, Kisauni

Prizes were awarded as follows:

1st Place (Overall): Sajid Nurmohamed (4.5 pts) – Gold medal + KES 1,500 cash
2nd Place (Overall): Samuel Wafula (4.5 pts) – Silver medal + KES 1,000 cash
3rd Place (Overall): Daniel Nyamu (4 pts) – Bronze medal + KES 750 cash

Best Junior (U20): Kelvin Kapino (3 pts) – Gold medal + KES 500 cash
Best Junior (U14): Jamie Kanango (4 pts) – Gold medal + KES 500 cash
Best Junior (U12): Shubh Shah (3 pts) – Gold medal
Best Junior (U10): Lemuel Manyala (3 pts) – Gold medal

Best Female: Genevieve Maashao (3 pts) – Gold medal + KES 500 cash

Of the 30 players who had registered, 29 played. In terms of representation, there were 21 junior (aged 20 and below) players, 4 female players, 9 senior players (aged 21 and above), and 5 FIDE-rated (with standard ratings) players.

Where clubs and institutions were concerned, the largest contingent of players was from Lighthouse Chess Club (18), followed by Mombasa Chess Club (3) and Khadija Secondary School (3), Mombasa Technical Training Institute (2), and others.

The organising team comprised Paras Gudka and Jackson Kalema. The arbitration team comprised IA Paras Gudka and NA Thayu Macharia.

Chess action at the Kenyan coast now moves to Mombasa Continental Resort in Shanzu for the 2021 Mombasa Open Chess Championship from 9th to 11th October 2021.

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