Photos by Harrison Kuguru, Thayu Macharia, and Paras Gudka
Paras Gudka (also the author of this report) surprised himself and his fellow participants by winning the Torre & Cavallo Closed Blitz Championship with 7.5 points from 10 rounds on Saturday, 11th December 2021 at The New Big Tree Beach Resort (TNBTBR), Bamburi.
Having included himself in the draw to boost the number of rated participants and to get closer to filling the available 10 places, Paras quickly found himself leading the tournament after winning four games in quick succession and drawing one to end the first half without any loss. He wasn’t as lucky in the second half.
The double round-robin format of the event meant that each player would play against the others twice, once with the White pieces and once with the Black.
Two of his victims from the first half, Moses Lukoko and Jackson Kalema, were able to exact vengeance on Paras when they met him again with the colours reversed (in Rounds 6 and 8 respectively). These remained his only losses in the tournament. His only draw came against Samuel Mwangi in Round 5.
Following Paras in second place was Jackson Kalema with 7 points. He encountered two losses at the hands of Samuel Mwangi and Paras Gudka (in Rounds 2 and 3 respectively) and two draws against Moses Lukoko and Samuel Mwangi (in Rounds 5 and 7 respectively).
In third place was Samuel Mwangi with 6 points. His two losses came against Harrison Kuguru and Paras Gudka (in Rounds 3 and 10 respectively) and his four draws from Paras, Jackson, Harrison, and Moses (in Rounds 5, 7, 8, and 9 respectively).
All prize winners were as follows:
- 1st Place – Paras Gudka 7.5 pts – KES 1,250 cash + pizza voucher
- 2nd Place – Jackson Kalema 7 pts – KES 750 cash + pizza voucher
- 3rd Place – Samuel Mwangi 6 pts – Pizza voucher
A total of 6 players participated in this final chess event of 2021 organised by Paras in partnership with Torre & Cavallo Chess Club, one of the newest chess clubs in Mombasa County.
The club’s founder Walter Corrarello had this to say to Paras about his attempts at promoting chess amongst travellers and the expat community of Bamburi Beach, ‘In April when you will get back I hope you will find Torre & Cavallo Chess Club ready for battle with some good players in its ranks. I will try to advertise more to get new clients who are chess players and hopefully we will have some members to form a team.’
Apart from the grassy lawn under the Big Tree where this tournament was held, customers of The New Big Tree Beach Resort will be able to play friendly games near the bar too (as seen in the photo above). Chess sets can be requested from the office at no charge.
This was the second FIDE-rated blitz tournament in Mombasa since the resumption of OTB (over-the-board) chess and will see a significant movement in the ratings of the four rated participants. One unrated participant, Harrison Kuguru, will receive his FIDE blitz rating from this event.
Clubs that were represented included Mombasa Chess Club, South Eastern Kenya University, and Subaru Boys (a pop-up entity for Paras who is currently not a member of any chess club).
The Torre & Cavallo Closed Blitz Championship was NA (National Arbiter) Thayu Macharia’s first FIDE-rated tournament as the Chief Arbiter.
Chess action now moves to Nairobi for the Kenya National Championships happening from 26 to 30 December 2021 where the first prize is a Mazda Demio car in the Open section and KES 100,000 cash in the Ladies section.
The next Paras Gudka chess event will most likely happen in April 2022 as yours truly takes a three-month break to regroup and focus on other matters.