Team Kenya reigns supreme in World Chess Div 4 Olympiad

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021 00:00 |
Members of the Kenya Chess team. Photo/PD/GIBO ZACHARY

Kenya is the overall winner of the 2021 World Chess Federation (FIDE) Online Olympiad Division 4 Pool B Championship that was held online for three days, between August 20 and 22.

Kenya put on an impressive show in the competitions, beating 10 countries out of 11 to emerge top of Pool B, a remarkable improvement from last year’s performance in the same division.

Kenya led by Joseph Methu, Elvis Likoko, Joyce Nyaruai, Sasha Mongeli, juniors’ Robert McLigeyo, and Elizabeth Cassidy, with a strong standby reserve team of Brian Irungu, Martin Njoroge, Lucy Wanjiru, Glenda Madelta, Rocky Muchiri and Naiya Gosrani.

The team kicked off the championship strongly, winning their first 10 matches, only to lose narrowly to Namibia 3.5 to 2.5 in their eleventh and final Pool B match, a result that was, however, inconsequential given that already the national team had cemented position one with a round to spare.

“Chess Kenya would like to congratulate Team Kenya for overcoming strong opposition to finish top of Division 4, Pool B, and qualify to Division 3.

This is the first time to qualify considering that in last year’s edition we performed dismally.

The achievements mean that our focus on juniors is bearing fruits now that the composition of the team is majorly juniors.

So, to all participants, you’ve made us proud as a country and we wish you all the best in Division 3,” an excited Chess Kenya President Benard Wanjala told People Sport.

In the 11 rounds of grueling competition, Kenya started brightly by beating Kuwait 3.5 to 2.5.

In their second round, Kenya humbled Lesotho 4.5 to 1.5, with Eritrea becoming their third casualty, beating them 4-2. Saudi Arabia was the fourth country to go down at the hands of Kenya, beating them 4.5 to 1.5.

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