Kenya eye better fortunes at Chess Olympiad

Thursday July 30 2020

National men's chess player Ben Magana ponders his next move during a past training match. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Victor otieno

Kenya will be out to redeem her image with a better performance at the ongoing inaugural Online Chess Olympiad.

While the global competition started on July 25, Kenya is among the countries that were seeded in Division Four and scheduled to kick-off their title campaign on Friday.

It is the first assignment for coach Peter Long of Malaysia after he took charge of the national team on July 3 on a six-month renewable contract.

A team of 13 (seven men and six women) has been tasked with flying Kenya's flag high at the competition that will come to an end on August 30.

Kenya will be looking to post a better performance than their 143rd finish at the previous edition held in 2018 in Batumi, Georgia.

“We have had a series of online team sessions with Long over the last couple of weeks and have also played some sparring matches among ourselves. The mood in the camp is positive. We want to make it to top three in our pool to advance to the next level,” said Candidate Master (CM) Ben Magana who is the team captain.


The International Chess Federation (FIDE) came-up with the Online Olympiad after physical meeting for tournaments was banned due to Covid-19.

The ban led to the postponement of the 44th World Chess Olympiad in Moscow, Russia to next year from August 5 to 18.

Teams taking part in the Online Olympiad have been seeded into five divisions ranked from Base Division to Top Division.

The Base Division is made up of teams placed at the bottom part of the final standings of the Gaprindashvili Cup, while those ranked high have been seeded in the Top Division.

Division Four where Kenya is seeded is made up of 35 teams ranked higher than teams in the Base Division. They will be joined by the teams that finished within the first 15 places in the Base Division that ended on Monday.

As per the Olympiad regulations, only six players in a mixed format of three men and three women will contest in every round of the competition.

The Division Four matches will come to an end on August 2.


Junior men

Robert Mcligeyo                  

CM Aguda Lwanga

Junior Women

Naiya Gosrani

Woman Fide Master (WFM) Krishi Shah

Senior Women

Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Joyce Nyaruai

WCM Lucy Wanjiru

WFM Sasha Mongeli

Madelta Glenda

Senior Men

Joseph Methu

Jackson Kamau

Mehul Gohil

Martin Njoroge

Captain: CM Ben Magana