Woman Fide Master (WFM) Krishi Shah was in fine form on Friday, when Division Four matches of the ongoing Online Chess Olympiad got underway in Nairobi.
Krishi won in all the three rounds as Kenya kicked-off their title campaign in the global competition against South-East Asia’s Brunei Darussalam.
Krishi, who is Kenya’s top junior female player with a rating of 1600, started what turned out to be her bright day with victory over Nur Zahira Zazali of 1506 ratings.
The two teams tied on one point, with the reigning men’s national champion Mehul Gohil and Robert Mcligeyo being Kenya’s other winners.
For top seed Joseph Methu, Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Lucy Wanjiru and WFM Sasha Mongeli, it was a bad start after they lost to their respective opponents.
In the second round where Kenya faced-off with neighbours Tanzania, Krishi continued with her impressive run, outwitting Prisha Chheda (0).
Methu (1972), Wanjiru (1349) and Mongeli (1599) redeemed themselves with wins over Geoffrey Mwanyika (1716), Gomathi Srisankar (0) and Zahabiya Ebrahim (1134) respectively. Gohil and Mcgligeyo failed to make it two wins in a row after they lost to their opponents.
Kenya’s victory over Tanzania left them rejuvenated for the day’s final round against Bahrain. Peter Long’s charges are fighting to finish within the first three places in a pool comprising nine teams to proceed to Division Three.
Krishi defeated Halima Hamadai (1181) to maintain her 100 percent record in day one contest, as Gohil, Mongeli and Mcligeyo ensured Kenya triumphed with wins over Ali Al-Ghasra (2003), Rania Alsalti (1287) and Hamad Mosa (1271) respectively. It was another bad round for Methu and Wanjiru, as they lost to Hussain Ayyad (2249) and Zainab Alafoo (0) respectively.
Victory over Bahrain saw Kenya tie with Nepal at position three on the log on five points, while Thailand and Hong Kong are tied at position one on six points.
“We are currently fourth in our pool meaning that we have to beat one of the top three teams to have a good chance of making it to the next level. Tomorrow’s (Saturday) games are slightly tougher than today’s so it is about getting the players rested and motivated,” Team Kenya captain Ben Magana told Nation Sport.
The Division Four rounds will come to an end on August 2, after which Division Three contest kicks off from August 7 to 9.
Kenya 3-3 Brunei Darussalam
Kenya 4-2 Tanzania
Kenya 4-2 Bahrain
Kenya v Nepal
Kenya v Maldives
Kenya v Thailand