Nairobi Chess Club win Strathmore Rapid Challenge

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By BRIAN YONGA
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Nairobi Chess Club (NCC) on Sunday won the Strathmore University Teams Rapid Chess Challenge as the two-day event came to a close at the Strathmore University.

NCC, who went into Sunday’s last day of action perched at the top with 10 points, clinched the title with one round to spare after comfortably sweeping their opponents in round six, seven and eight. 

They also won the final round match against Anchor Club to end with a perfect score of 18 match points.

NCC team manager Kim Bhari was pleased with the result attributing his team’s success to good preparations and hunger to win.

“We have fired a salvo to other teams that we are here to dominate chess. The league is coming up in a few weeks and this is a good warm up for it,” Bhari told Daily Nation Sport.

“Our players are simply amazing, they trained hard and I am sure they still want to better their performance and excel further.”

The star-studded team led by former national Mehul Gohil and Kenya’s number one ranked player Peter Gilruth, beat Nairobi Chess Academy 3-1 in round six, Strathmore University B 4-0 in round seven, Strathmore University A 3-1 in round eight before completing a good outing with a 4-0 win against Anchor Chess Club in the ninth and final round.

Three NCC players were also in the best players according to the performance ratings with Gilruth topping ahead of Gohil and South Sudanese James Panchol. Equity’s International Master (IM) Elijah Emojong of Uganda and Moses Andiowh complete the top five positions.

NCC walked away with Sh15,000 prize money as well as trophies and will now fancy their chances of winning the league title which gets underway on February 12.

Defending champions Kenya Commercial Bank finished in second placed with 14 points with Equity Bank placed third with 14 points.

Anchor Chess Club and Nairobi Chess Academy rounded off the top five positions after finishing in fourth and fifth places respectively. Twelve teams took part in the team challenge event, which was FIDE rated and played in nine rounds.

Tritonite Stars and Elimu House Avengers won the Under 18 and Under 12 categories respectively. A record 50 teams took part in the competition.

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