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Chess: Magana, Mongeli to lead Kenya entourage to World Chess Olympiad in Russia

 Candidate Master (CM) Ben Magana in action against Griffin Mark during the 2021 Kisumu Open Rapid Chess Tournament.[Washington Onyango, Kisumu]

Candidate Master (CM) Ben Magana will be making his seventh appearance at the World Chess Olympiad after finishing top in the men’s Olympiad Qualifiers.

The veteran local chess master finished top in the open section with eight points. 

This will be a seventh Olympiad appearance for the KCB Chess Club star who has previously competed in the 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2018 editions. 

Magana will be joined by the defending National Chess champion Martin Njoroge who also made the cut to the national team that will compete in the forthcoming 2022 World Chess Olympiad in Moscow, Russia.

It is the second time the top seed has qualified for the Olympiad ticket, having also made the cut in the 2020 edition that was cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Top five players clinched a ticket to the Olympiad scheduled for July 26 to August 8.

In the open section, Magana finished top followed by KCB’s Ben Nguku (7.5 points), Deadly Bishops’ Githinji Hinga (seven points), Njoroge fourth and Robert Mcligeyo was fifth with 5.5 points.

In the women’s category, Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Joyce Nyaruai and Woman Fide Master (WFM) Sasha Mongeli tied on 7.5 points to qualify for the Olypmiad.

Others who joined them include World Women’s Amateur champions Madelta Glenda, Jully Mutisya from Nakuru Chess Club and Cynthia Awino from Technical University of Kenya.

Meanwhile, Chess Kenya has revealed that only four players from each category will be able to travel to Moscow instead of five players.

Chess Kenya president Benard Wanjala said that because of a tight budget, they are only sure of taking the top four players in every category. 

World Chess Olympiad qualified players


CM Ben Magana

Githinji Hinga

Ben Nguku

Martin Njoroge

Robert Mcligeyo


WCM Joyce Nyaruai

WFM Sasha Mongeli

Madelta Glenda

Jully Mutisya

Cynthia Awino


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