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KCB Bank reclaim National Chess League crown

SPORTS By Washington Onyango | November 12th 2019 | 2 min read
 Benjamin Magana of KCB during Chess Premier league at KCB Sports Club on Saturday. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

KCB Chess Club are the 2019 Kenya Premier Chess League champions.

The bankers reclaimed the title they won two years ago after finishing the season unbeaten and pipped archrivals Equity Bank to win the title as the 2019 season ended over the weekend.

Led by their captain Ben Magana, the champions outwitted an army of teams fielding veteran players including favourites Equity, Deadly Bishops, Black Knights, NACHA Kings and Nairobi Chess Club, Kenya’s oldest club, who finished fifth.

KCB finished on 78 match points after winning all its 26 league matches, 15 points ahead of deposed champions Equity in the expanded 27-team league.

Anchor Chess Club finished second with 69 points followed by Equity in third place with 63 points. Nairobi Chess Academy and Club came fourth as Nairobi Chess Club closed the top five teams.

Speaking to the Standard Sports, KCB captain Magana lauded his charges for a brilliant season and thanked their patron for the support.

“It has been a monumental year winning the league with KCB this year. We have finished with a 100% score (26 played, 26 wins) largely due to determination and focus.

“Last season, we were the dominant team in the league but failed to win because of lack of focus and a feeble mindset. This season, we have set a record that may take a while to break. Kudos to our worthy competitors for attempting to give us a stiff challenge. A big thank you to our patron, Sam Makome,” he said.

Chess Kenya President Bernard Wanjala also congratulated the champions and terming the 2019 chess premier league a success.

“The league was very competitive with 27 teams and congratulations to KCB for ending Equity’s two year dominance. This shows how the league aggressive as chess continuous to grow in the country,” said Wanjala who doubles as Equity Chess Club team manager.

Bank of Africa won the best corporate title with Stima Club finishing second as Technical University of Kenya emerged the best University followed by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

The winners will be feted during the 2019 Kenya National Chess Championship to be held at the KCB Sports Club from December 1.

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