Kenya Does Well At Olympiad
The Nation (Kenya)
Nov 05, 2004
Kenya moved up 24 places to the 95th position in the international
chess federation rankings (FIDE) after the World Chess Olympiad in
Ukraine dethroned Russia to become the new Olympiad champions, winning
the gold medal. Russia won the silver medal and Armenia the bronze
after beating the US team on tie-break.
The Kenyans played their hearts out in the 14-round event and among
the casualties in the final rounds were Aruba and Cyprus whom the
Kenyans beat by a score of 3l-l and 3-1 respectively.
These two wins catapulted the team 10 places upwards.
University of Nairobi student Ben Nguku, making his debut at the
international stage, was the toast of the Kenyan team. Nguku was
placed 25th on Board Four with a percentage performance of 62:5 per
cent. Kenya finished ahead of Uganda, Barbados, Angola, Nigeria and
Libya. The 14-round contest featured 129 countries.
Out of the 13 men’s team from Africa, Kenya was ranked at the
respectable fifth position behind Botswana, Tunisia, Morocco and South
Africa which was the best African team.
The Kenyan women made their maiden appearance at the Olympiad and even
though they were ranked second from last but they managed to notch up
memorable wins against Libya and Japan with identical scores of 2-1.
The team arrived back in the country this week.
Meanwhile, the national junior team is in Greece to take part at the
World Youth Chess Championship in Crete Island.
Brian Obilo will spearhead the Kenyan onslaught in the event playing
in the boys’ under 12 age category.
Obilo made his debut at the international scene in July this year when
he took part at the sixth Chess Festival in France.
The experience should come in handy in Crete and he is expected to
post better results than in France.
Other players who travelled to the annual youth event were: Vaishnavi
Rammohan (girls under 10), Shiv Shah (boys under 10), Isabelle Asiema
(girls under 14) and Kush Shah (boys under 14). Over 80 countries will
be taking part represented by over 1,000 players. This will be the
fifth time Kenya will be competing at the event
Kenya Chess Association secretary, Lawrence Kagambi accompanied the
team as head of delegation.