Kenya selects team for AISCC finals

Kenya selects team for AISCC finals

Nyanza Region's Zawadi Samara makes a move during the Africa Schools Individual Chess Championship (AISCC) qualifiers at the Makini School on December 5, 2021.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

Nairobi region dominated the Africa Schools Individual Chess Championship (AISCC) qualifiers that ended Saturday at the Makini School.

Out of the 24 players who qualified to represent Kenya in the continental showpiece, 11 are from the capital.

Junior chess players from 15 countries are expected to grace the AISCC finals which will be held in a Nairobi hotel from December 12 to 20.

At Makini School, the two-day AISCC qualifiers brought together 70 junior chess players from Nairobi, Nyanza, Central, Western, Rift Valley and Coast regions.

They battled for tickets in the Under 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17 categories.

Only the top two players in both boys' and girls' sections qualified for the continental showpiece.

Coming into the qualifiers, only two players had the International Chess Federation (FIDE) titles.

Aguda Lwanga, who competed in the Under-15 boys' category is a Candidate Master (CM), while Devashri Shah, who took part in the Under-13 girls' section, is a Woman Candidate Master (WCM).

As expected, the two players from Nairobi clinched tickets to the AISCC finals.

CM Lwanga topped his section on five points, one above Dheraav Shah. WCM Shah tied for top spot with Zena Ibrahim on 14 points and the latter was ranked first thanks to a superior tie-breaker.

Rift Valley came second with five of their players making it to the finals, while Coast region had four participants clinching tickets to the continental event. Central and Nyanza regions produced two finalists each.

Fast-rising Zawadi Samara, who had hoped to be Nyanza's other representative in AISCC, finished third on three points in the Under-7 girls' section.

The two slots went to Nairobi's Winnie Muchoki and Elsie Kamoni, who finished first and second with five and four points respectively.

Samara, a Grade Two pupil at the Msingi School Academy in Kisumu, said she was elated to have finished within the medal bracket in her nationals debut.

"The competition was tough and I am very happy with my performance. I will continue training hard to be the best," said the Nyanza champion.

The finalists will report to camp on Monday to start preparations for the AISCC finals. South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana, Gnana, Malawi, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, Algeria and Egypt are some of the countries whose players are expected at the event.

Team Kenya

U17 Boys

1. Rocky Muchiri - Central
2. Mutuma Kinoti – Nairobi

U17 Girls

1. Mercy Ingado - Nairobi
2. Ivy Nyambura – Nairobi

U15 Boys

1. CM Aguda Lwanga - Nairobi
2. Dheerav Shah – Coast

U15 Girls

1. Laurecia Atiagaga - Rift Valley
2. Rheya Shah – Coast

U13 Boys

1. Timothy Cerrulo - Nairobi
2. Jamie Kanango – Coast

U13 Girls

1. Zena Ibrahim - Nyanza
2. WCM Devashri Shah – Nairobi

U11 Boys

1. Ruhan Shah - Coast
2. Don Muiruri - Nairobi

U11 Girls

1. Elizabeth Cassidy - Rift Valley
2. Fantalis Nduta – Central

U-9 Boys

1. Curtis Reuben - Nyanza
2. John Murege - Rift Valley

U-9 Girls

1. Riziki Kuka - Nairobi
2. Melinda Chepeng'at - Rift Valley

U-7 Boys

1. Nathaniel Manyeki - Nairobi
2. Raymond Namuseyi - Rift Valley

U-7 Girls

1. Winnie Muchoki - Nairobi
2. Elsie Kamoni - Nairobi