Ugandan IM Elijah Emojong Crowned 2017 KAM Rapid Chess Champion

A delayed start and rainy weather did not come in the way of 157 participants who showed up at the doors of KAM Place on Sunday, 19th February to prove that they were the best of the best rapid chess players in not just Kenya but even East Africa.

After 5 rounds, Ugandan IM (International Master) Elijah Emojong took home the top prize of KES 5,000 and a trophy at the 2017 KAM Rapid Chess Championship. Though he had tied with 4 other players with a 100% score of 5 points, his fifth tie-break score was better than that of second placed CM (Candidate Master) William Wachania Wachira. Following them in third place (overall) was Mehul Gohil who lost out to William on a weaker third tie-break score.

Last year’s overall winner Peter Gilruth did not participate and therefore couldn’t defend his crown.

Ugandan IM Elijah Emojong receiving his prize for first place (overall) from KAM Pharmacy director Mrs Rahemtullah / Photo by Allan Rongoey
Ugandan IM Elijah Emojong receiving his prize for first place (overall) from KAM Pharmacy director Mrs Rahemtullah / Photo by Allan Rongoey

The one-day event was a 5-round Swiss system FIDE rated tournament that employed 25 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move from move 1 as the rate of play. Of the 157 players that participated, the largest group – numbering a whopping 67 – came from Juja St. Peters School!

Chess stalwarts Collins Young, Geoffrey Mulaga and Lawrence Kagambi who tied on 4 points each were awarded for first, second and third places in the Over 40 category.

In the Under 40 category, the top 3 prizes were scooped by: Peter Diing – 5 pts, James Kabui Nyaga – 4 pts and William Imo Muganda – 4pts. In the same category the prize for ‘Best Lady’ went to Olympian WCM (Woman Candidate Master) Joyce Nyaruai Ndirangu.

The best Under 18 players were: Brian Kariuki Waweru (gold medal) – 5 pts, Sumit Satish Deshpande (silver medal) – 4 pts and Ankur Shrirama Phadke (bronze medal) – 3.5 pts.

Sumit Deshpande of Anchor Chess Club receiving his medal for second place (Under 18) from Mrs Rahemtullah / Photo by Allan Rongoey
Sumit Deshpande of Anchor Chess Club receiving his medal for second place (Under 18) from Mrs Rahemtullah / Photo by Allan Rongoey

The best Under 14 players were: Darshan Samir Shah (gold) – 4 pts, Sunil Subramaniam (silver) – 3 pts and Armaan Din (bronze) – 3 pts. The ‘Best Girl’ prize in this age category went to Poorvi Shrirama Phadke who finished with 3 points.

The best Under 12 players were: Alvin Mbithi (gold) – 4 pts, Vedhika Sheshadri (silver) – 3.5 pts and Fatima Mohamed Mohideen (bronze) – 3.5 pts. The ‘Best Girl’ prize went to Nikita Ameetkumar Parikh who finished with 3 points.

In the final age category (Under 10), the following players went home with prizes: Reeyan Gosrani (gold) – 3 pts, Sanjay Ramesh (silver) – 3 pts and Devashri Shah (bronze) – 3 pts. The ‘Best Girl’ prize was awarded to Janvi Nipul Shah who finished with 3 points too.

A total cash prize fund of KES 28,500 was awarded to prize winners in the Overall, Over 40 and Under 40 categories while winners in the junior categories received chess-themed medals and trophies. The tournament was sponsored by KAM Group (KAM Pharmacy and KAM Place) and organised by Motochess Ventures.

Chess lover and director of KAM Pharmacy, Karim Rahemtullah, doubled up as the MC for the closing ceremony / Photo by Allan Rongoey
Chess lover and director of KAM Pharmacy, Karim Rahemtullah, doubled up as the MC for the closing ceremony / Photo by Allan Rongoey

The arbitration team comprised of: FA Paras Gudka, Terence Chazima, NA Hannah Muthoni Wangari, James Mwangi Kang’aru and Moses Maina (Trainee).

Arbiters who officiated in the tournament: Moses Maina (trainee), James Mwangi Kang'aru, NA Hannah Muthoni Wangari and Terence Chazima / Photo by Allan Rongoey
Arbiters who officiated in the tournament: Moses Maina (trainee), James Mwangi Kang’aru, NA Hannah Muthoni Wangari and Terence Chazima / Photo by Allan Rongoey

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