Inaugural VM Game Night: 14 Wins, 1 Draw, 3 Losses for Gohil

A banner advertising Game Night strung over the entrance of Village Market
A banner advertising Game Night strung over the entrance of Village Market

Village Market, one of Nairobi’s premier shopping and entertainment destinations, hosted its first Game Night event on Saturday, 15th April when visitors and diners at the food court were encouraged to play various fun games—chess, Scrabble, checkers, Monopoly, Connect Four and Jenga—with each other and with complete strangers in a family-friendly environment. The objective was to get people to spend time with each other engaged in fun activities whilst also supporting businesses operating at the shopping centre.

How many games can you spot in one picture?
How many games can you spot in one picture?

Chess fans had even more in store for them when Kenya’s fourth-ranked player and former national champion, Mehul Gohil, decided to spice things up with a 10-player simultaneous exhibition conducted bang in the middle of the refurbished food court.

Kenya no. 4 Mehul Gohil makes his move against Anchor Chess Club member Rachith Gantla
Kenya no. 4 Mehul Gohil makes his move against Anchor Chess Club member Rachith Gantla

From the initial 10 players who had all begun their games by 6.30 pm, the number increased to 18 as some games ended early and players were replaced by others waiting in line. To prove he could handle the pressure of so many games going on at once and more, boards were arranged with alternating colours instead of the standard practice of the simul giver having the same colour on each board.

Members of Anchor Chess Club (Mukund Budhbhatti, Brian Waweru and Lalith Gantla) and Duncan Apiyo (in grey sweatshirt) ponder their next moves
Members of Anchor Chess Club (Mukund Budhbhatti, Brian Waweru and Lalith Gantla) and Duncan Apiyo (in grey sweatshirt) ponder their next moves

After 2 hours of intense action where he defeated 14 players, drew against 1 and lost to 3, a thrilled Mehul gushed, “Chess stole the show at the game night. A Chess Simul is designed to have maximum PR impact. And that is what exactly happened.”

Lucy Wanjiru in deep thought
Lucy Wanjiru in deep thought

Those who managed to beat Mehul were: Milton Kihara (former Under 18 National Champion), Lucy Wanjiru (member, Anchor Chess Club) and Victor Hongo (member, Equity Bank Chess Club) while the only draw came from Trevor Mulindi (captain, University of Nairobi Chess Club).

Scrabble was the other competitive board game represented at Game Night
Scrabble was the other competitive board game represented at Game Night
Simul director Paras Gudka with Village Market's Marketing and PR Executive Val Ndung'u
Simul director Paras Gudka with Village Market’s Marketing and PR Executive Val Ndung’u

Organised by Village Market in partnership with Motochess Ventures, Anchor Chess Club, Scrabble Kenya and other partners, the event is likely to become a regular one in coming months.

The next VM Game Night happens on Saturday, 27th May from 5 pm and will see the addition of Backgammon for visitors to try out.

(All photos courtesy of Village Market)

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