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Race for Olympiad slots hots up

Monday February 24 2020

National team player Sasha Mongeli, who is competing in 2018 World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia. PHOTO | COURTESY |

National team player Sasha Mongeli, who is competing in 2018 World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia. PHOTO | COURTESY |  

VICTOR OTIENO             
By VICTOR OTIENO            
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Stiff competition was witnessed over the weekend in the fight for tickets to represent Kenya at the August World Chess Olympiad in Moscow.

Top seeds Sasha Mongeli, Lucy Wanjiru and Joyce Nyaruai dominated the ladies’ category leadership after round six of the competition at KCB Sports Club, Ruaraka in Nairobi.

Eleven men and 11 ladies are in the race for the top five positions in each category that will earn them a place in Kenya’s team for the World Chess Olympiad from August 5 to 18.

Woman Fide Master (WFM) Sasha Mongeli is leading thanks to a superior tie breaker.

This is after she tied with the reigning national champion and Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Wanjiru on five points. All of them won five matches.

Top seed Nyaruai, also a WCM, is ranked third on 4.5 points. While the KCB Chess Club player also won four matches, she has an inferior tie breaker compared to Mongeli and Wanjiru.

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The trio are hot favourites to represent Kenya at the Olympiad for the second time in a row after featuring in the 2018 event in Batumi, Georgia.

They got the titles at the Batumi event where Kenya finished 143 out of 185 countries.

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