What you need to know:
- The round six clash between the two Olympiads in the “Open” section was always going to be tough thanks to their impressive records.
- Apart from bagging maximum points in all the previous five rounds of the competition taking place at The Luke Hotel in Nairobi, Methu - with a Fide rating of 2024 - is the third best player nationally.
In what was a battle of titans, Mehul Gohil, the defending champion in the Kenya National Chess Championship on Tuesday outwitted Joseph Methu to maintain his perfect run in this year’s competition.
The round six clash between the two Olympiads in the “Open” section was always going to be tough thanks to their impressive records.
Apart from bagging maximum points in all the previous five rounds of the competition taking place at The Luke Hotel in Nairobi, Methu - with a Fide rating of 2024 - is the third best player nationally.
Gohil, who had also trounced all his opponents in the previous five rounds, is fourth nationally with a Fide rating of 2014.
And after a grueling 90 minutes of full focus on the board it was Mehul who left the hall smiling, the victory propelling him to the summit of the standing with six points.
But he cannot rest easy of the lead, as Martin Njoroge of KCB Chess Club - who is ranked 14th nationally - is second with 5.5 points after winning in five rounds and drawing in one.
It was in the sixth round where Njoroge failed to bag maximum points after being held by top player and Candidate Master (CM) Ben Magana.
Magana, who is a six-time Olympiad, has a Fide rating of 2081.
Daniel Gisore, who won all his day three matches against Ricky Sang and Ben Nguku, is also on 5.5 points.
The draw against Njoroge, which was the second for Magana in the competition saw the veteran player who is a Mechanical Engineer drop from sixth to eighth with five points.
Methu, Elijah Kamau, Hillary Sagwa and Collins Jerry are the other players who have amassed five points.
In the ladies section, Woman Fide Master (WFM) Sasha Mongeli showed why she is Kenya’s top female chess player with victories over Woman Candidate Masters (WCM) Lucy Wanjiru and Joyce Nyaruai.
As a result of the victories, Mongeli maintained her 100 percent record in the competition to top with six points. Triza Mwendwa and Cheryl Ngima are tied second with five points while Wanjiru is fourth with 4.5 points.
After losing to Mongeli, Nyaruai again fell to Ngima, dropping to seventh on four points.
The top player in the “open” section after the ninth round will receive a brand new, Mazda Demio car while the winner in the ladies section will pocket Sh100,000.