The 2nd phase of the 2022 Kenya Chess Olympiad Qualifiers ended mid last month with several upsets. The top 24 players from the just concluded 2021 Kenya National Chess Championship were the invited players.
Veteran players from past Olympiads like Mehul Gohil, Ricky Sang, Philip Singe and Dr Victor Ng’ani fell by the wayside in this brutal 6 round event.
The biggest casualty was the 2019 Kenya National Championship Mehul Gohil, who ended in 22nd out of 24 players with only 3 points. His campaign for the 2022 slot started with him missing his first round due to other commitments. Chirs Maina added more misery in the second round by defeating Mehul despite being almost 260 lower in rating.
Mehul Gohil won his third round against Daniel Gisore but lost to Chege Kairu in round four before withdrawing from the event.
Ricky Sang scored 9 points but ended 12th in the ranking, while Philip Singe obtained 8 points to rank in the 15th position. Dr Victor Ng’ani had 7 points and was ranked 17th.
The two shortest games of the tournaments included the following;
In the final phase, the top 7 players will now join Martin Njoroge (2021 Kenya Champion), Robert Mcligeyo (top junior), Joseph Methu and CM Ben Magana, the top two rated players in Kenya.
Ben Nguku won the event with 5.5 points out of 6 rounds.
The Ladies section saw 2018 Kenya National Chess Champion Gwen Jumba fail to qualify for the final phase. She only scored nine points and ended 10th in the ranking.
In the final phase, the top 8 players join WFM Sasha Mongeli (2021 Kenya National Champion) & WCM Joyce Nyaruai (highest rated) and Triza Mwendwa (top junior).
Madelata Glenda was the clear winner in this section with 6 points out of 6 rounds.