Chess coach heaps praise on duo after Olympiad exploits

Woman Fide Master (WFM) Krishi Shah in action at Clarion Hotel in Nairobi on July 31, 2020 during day one of Division Four matches of the ongoing Online Chess Olympiad. PHOTO | POOL  

What you need to know:

  • When Long took charge of the national team early last month on a six-month renewable contract, he called for patience, stating that transforming the team will take up to two years. 
  • “Any technical improvements, necessary changes to approach, mind-set of the current national team among other

Kenya team chess coach Peter Long has heaped praises on juniors Krishi Shah and Robert Mcligeyo, saying they have a bright future on the board. 

Shah, who is Woman Fide Master (WFM) and Mcligeyo, are among the four juniors who competed in the ongoing online chess Olympiad, in which Kenya was eliminated on Sunday after finishing sixth on the log. 

Hong Kong, Thailand and Chinese Taipei progressed to Division Three after finishing within the first three places in Division Four.

Shah, 17, of KCB Chess Club was the most outstanding player for Kenya in the competition, recording four wins and a draw in the six rounds that she competed in.

Ffiteen- year-old Mcligeyo of Makini School won twice and lost three times.

“It is clear Krishi has a future. I saw her as first choice together with Robert on the junior boards. The others were less ready for this level of competition,” Long told Nation Sport from his base in Malaysia.

He said that he is satisfied with Kenya’s performance in the competition and that it gave him the opportunity to know the strength of his players as he seeks to build a team capable of challenging for major titles. 

“My role is long term, to build capacity, not to prepare for the Online Olympiad. Two weeks was no time at all to make any changes, plus most players were at work and so unable to do much formal training. So I did not see this assignment as much more than giving me a chance to get to know the players and see them in action,” said the Malaysian. 

When Long took charge of the national team early last month on a six-month renewable contract, he called for patience, stating that transforming the team will take up to two years. 

“Any technical improvements, necessary changes to approach, mind-set of the current national team among other skills will take at least a year, likely up to two years,” Long told Nation Sport then.