Msingi School and Mudasa Academy students shined at the Nyanza Region Kenya National Youth Chess Championship qualifies staged at Kasagam Secondary School on Sunday.
Over 800 junior chess masters participated in the regional tourney where those who score two points and above qualify for the nationals which will be held at Kisii School and Kereri Girls next month.
Matis Ogola from Msingi School and Breetaliza Amanda from Mudasa Academy topped the under-8 boys and girls category respectively.
Neil Chacko Kayyanickal of Jalaram Academy (6 points), Leon Musil of Victory Preparatory (5.5points) as Kyle Aswa (Sapphire Junior School) and Liam Tindi (Mudasa Academy) finished fourth and fifth respectively behind winner Ogola.
In the girl’s category, Esther Atieno from Msingi School came second behind Amanda with six points also as Velmah Ruth Atieno of Venmar School came third with five points.
In the under 10, Karel Sanders Ouko from Mudasa Academy and Samara Zawadi from Msingi School emerged winners in the event where Kisumu County CEC for Sports Beatrice Odongo was the Chief Guest.
Trevor Maoga from Mudasa and Shukri Shakirah from Agha Khan ruled the under 12 boys and girls category as Rishit Ravat from Kisumu Senior and Dericka Peroh from Makini School commanded the under 14 category.
In the under 16, Theodore Tesfaye from St Mary’s Yala School beat a field of 44 boys to emerge top as Zena Ibrahim from Victoria Chess Club topped the girls category.
Maranda High School’s Eliud Kantai won the under 18 boys section as Grace Akoth from St. Barnabas Girls Secondary took gold in the girls category.
Chess Kenya President Benard Wanjala called on more parents to encourage their children to play chess which is not only healthy in their academic journey but also a source of earning a living if well specialized.
“It’s amazing that chess is currently growing in Nyanza if you take the turn out into consideration. However, more should still be done because today’s children are the future of Kenya in terms of representing the nation in international championships.
“Parents, let your kids play chess. Chess is a good game for them as they seek academic excellence and trust me it has benefits,” said Wanjala.
Tournament Director Andrew Owili said through the partnership with Chess Kenya and other entities they were able to attract schools from Kisumu, Siaya, Kisii, Homa Bay, Migori, Kakamega among others.
“It was a very good tourney. The best we have hosted this year. The nationals are next month and the only remaining regional qualifiers is from Mount Kenya. Our goal this year is to promote chess in all schools,” said Owili who also doubles as Chess Kenya Vice President.