Kenya back to winning ways in Chess Olympiad

 Olympiad

Team Kenya at the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai City, India.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • Hinga was Kenya's unlucky player in the match as he fell to IM Al Khatib Ahmad. It was Kenya's second win in the category after their 4-0 win over Bhutan on Saturday.
  • The national men's team Friday lost to Chile 4-0 in the opening round and 2-5-1.5 to South Korea in the third round on Sunday.
  • But it is Zambia who stole the show on day four by flooring African giants Egypt 2.5-1.5.

Kenya Monday bounced back to winning ways in both the open and women’s sections of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai City, India to gain ground in their chase for a podium finish in Group D.

It was the fourth round of the two-week championship that has attracted teams from 188 countries from across the globe.

In the women’s section, Kenya’s quartet of Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Joyce Nyaruai, debutantes Cynthia Awino, Jully Mutisya and Glenda Madelta made light work of Palau’s Angelina Magno, Angelil Sisior, Destiny Sisior and Rosemarie Wag-eyen respectively to win the match 4-0.

It was the second victory by the national women’s team at the competition which started last Friday.

Kenya Saturday defeated Cameroon by the same margin in a round two contest, while they registered an identical 3-1 loss to Romania and Venezuela in round one and three respectively.

Woman Fide Master (WFM) Sasha Mongeli is the player who was rested in the clash.

At three wins from four rounds, Awino, a student at Technical University of Kenya, is until now Kenya’s best performer in the women’s section.

She has lost one match, while Nyaruai has won in two out of two matches she has played.

The resounding fourth round victory saw Kenya, who are seeded 99th in the women’s section, move to position 66th on the Olympiad log with four points.

Azerbaijan, who are seeded sixth, tops with eight points.

While Poland, Ukraine, India A, France, India B, Georgia and Romania have also amassed eight points, they have an inferior tie-breaker compared to Azerbaijan.

Kenya Tuesday clash with Nigeria in the women's section. In the open section, Kenya shocked Jordan 2.5-1.5.

Coming into the clash, Jordan were favourites as they are seeded 99th in the category, while Kenya is placed 135.

Teenager Robert Mcligeyo returned to the team with Isaac Mukoko being the player who made way for him. Double Olympiads Ben Nguku and Githinji Hinga as well as  national champion Martin Njoroge all maintained their places in the team.

Njoroge, who is eying a Fide title and a medal in the competition, took his winning streak to three after defeating Alwahsh Ibrahim.

Nguku upset International Master (IM) Sameer Mansour, while Mcligeyo drew with WFM Alshaeby Boshra.

Hinga was Kenya's unlucky player in the match as he fell to IM Al Khatib Ahmad. It was Kenya's second win in the category after their 4-0 win over Bhutan on Saturday.

The national men's team Friday lost to Chile 4-0 in the opening round and 2-5-1.5 to South Korea in the third round on Sunday.

But it is Zambia who stole the show on day four by flooring African giants Egypt 2.5-1.5.

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