Glenda grabs lead in World Amateur Chess tournament
Kenya’s Madelta Glenda of Equity Bank Chess Club grabbed the lead for the first time in the Women’s Section of the ongoing World Amateur Chess Championship in Rhodes Island, Greece, as compatriot Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Joyce Ndirangu of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Chess Club stumbled to fourth after round seven of action played on Saturday.
Madelta (Elo 1417) defeated tricky Maria Trivella of Greece while WCM Ndirangu (Elo 1656) fell to 12-year-old Daniya Suerkulova of Kazakhstan on boards 2 and 1 respectively.
Madelta is tied at the top of the table standings on 5.5 points with Trivella but has a better Buchholz tie-break to take the lead.
Other Kenyans who emerged winners on Saturday were Mehul Gohil after suffering a three-game drought in the U2300 section.
In the U2000 section was Jackson Ndegwa and a big one from Woman Field Master (WFM) Sasha Mongeli (Elo 1578) who downed Heinz Boesch (Elo 1901) of Germany to gain valuable Elo points.
The KCB duo of Martin Njoroge and Philip Singe drew their games in the U2000 section, making it the second time Kenya scored below 50 percent of the total 11 points up for grabs per round.
Before Saturday’s defeat to 12-year-old Daniya Suerkulova of Kazakhstan, WCM Ndirangu had a perfect start to the competition, registering impressive opening victories in rounds one and two of the competition before grabbing the lead after round three after defeating compatriot Madelta Glenda (Elo 1417) on Board 1 in the Women U1700 Section.
In round four, Ndirangu defeated Trivella of Greece to consolidate her lead by opening up one point atop the Women’s Section Elo Under-1700 points and despite losing to experienced 75-year-old Dorina Florea of Romania in round five action, maintained her lead on a tie-break but bounced back in round six to beat Wanjiru.
Glenda on the other hand, was second on tie-break among four players on 4.5 points each after she held the experienced 75-year-old visually impaired Dorina Florea of Romania (Elo 1687) to a draw gaining crucial Elo points currently standing at some 31 points gained in round six, leaving Kenya well on course for a one-two finish for gold in this section with three rounds left.
Glenda had also beaten Zanini Borghezan (Elo 1575) of Brazil in round five to gain valuable Elo points, while also winning for Kenya in round five were WCM Lucy Wanjiru in the Women section and in U2000 Section through the KCB duo of Jackson Ndegwa and Martin Njoroge.
With two rounds remaining, Madelta and WCM Ndirangu were still in contention for medals as they occupied the top two boards again by yesterday in round eight.
By the time of going to press, Madelta was scheduled to take on Suerkulova of Kazakhstan while Ndirangu was scheduled to face off with 15-year-old Katholiki Troumouchi of hosts Greece.