By Koome Kazungu in Batumi Georgia.
The 4th round of the 43rd edition of World Chess Olympiad continues today in Batumi City in Georgia. The biennial event has attracted 180 countries including Kenya.
KCB Bank has sponsored the national team to this years’ championship. Kenya will face Malta in today’s competition.
The local players are optimistic of a greater performance as Ben Magana, Singe Philip, Victor Ng’ani ad Cm Ricky Sang lead Kenya’s chase for victory today. Kenya’s battle for dominance kicked off with two major victories over dominant Zambia and Ethiopia.
The grandeur performances were spearheaded by candidate master Ben Magana, national blitz champion Joseph Methu and Dr. Victor Ng’ani. The three shone with brilliance that stunned their opponents during the competition.
CM Ben Magana defeated Ethiopia in an ominous manner never witnessed before in the Africa’s Chess History ending the domination by Ethiopians. The 3rd round of the match saw Kenya seek to revenge for the previous losses. Magana had with the help of coach Steve prepared for the game and his approach was to play marshal attack. Everything went according to plan and he overwhelmed Ethiopian Altaya Giroum.
“I am happy because my form is improving greatly, the win has given my team mates confidence”, said Magana who is aiming to score 67 percent in all the games.
Magana made three sacrifices that his opponent easily fell for. First he sacrificed his knight at f2 exposing the opponents king. He then sacrificed his bishop at h3 stripping the king of all remaining cover. The final move saw him seal this huge victory was when he sacrificed the rook at e 8 deflecting the queen and leaving the king vulnerable. He then ate all his opponents undeveloped pieces. When Magana made a pawn move to promote it, his opponent resigned. The Kenyan player is elated with his victory in Georgia.
30-year-old KCB player Joseph Methu dream of becoming a fide master is closer than ever before. His game was very theoretical when he played Ethiopia and his opponent fell for tactic that saw the Ethiopian loose the queen.
From the onset of the game the Ethiopian made a d4 while Methu played the kings Indian move. Methu then played rook b8 but his opponent missed the tactic bishop d4 check,losing the queen.
Soon after the Ethiopian blundered playing rook to d1 then lost another move in the process and He was left with the option of losing either a rook or a bishop thus resigning from the game.
The victory saw Methu gift Kenya the first win and the global competition. This was followed by Ben Magana’s victory, Victor Ng’ani and Ricky Sang who drew and sealed Kenya’s victory with 2.5 points.