Kenyan junior shines in South Africa meet

By Gilbert Wandera: Tuesday, December 18th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Sports
Jia Rajesh Hiranandani during the Africa Chess Championships held in South Africa

Jia Rajesh Hiranandani won silver during the Africa School Chess Championships in Limpopo, South Africa at the weekend.

The Year Seven student at Oshwal Academy amassed seven points out of a possible nine to finish runner-up behind Gabatsgwarwe Refilwe of Botswana, who had eight points.

Following her performance, Hiranandani becomes a Women Candidate Master (WCM).

Hirandani, who is a member of Nairobi Chess Club, was the only Kenyan who took part in the one-week tournament.

Her coach Stephen Ouma said he was impressed by the performance and predicted better times ahead.

“She has been working very hard in preparations for the tournament and I am not surprised with how she performed. She played amazing chess throughout the one week and we expect her to do even better next year,” he said.

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In a related development, Chess Kenya will send three players to this month’s Africa Junior tournament in Entebbe, Uganda.

The three are Chege Kairu, James Kabue and Cynthia Awino. The three were top players during the national chess championships at Parklands Sports Club.