Draughts champion Odhiambo ready for Kenya Open event

Kenya's Crispin 'Goj' Odhiambo (left) after winning silver medal at World Draughts Championship qualifiers in Antalya, Turkey. [Courtesy]

East African draughts champion Crispin 'Goj' Odhiambo is set to battle world beaters from Barbados at the 2023 Kenya Open to be held this weekend at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi.

Odhiambo will also face off with the two dreaded Barbadians; John 'Jack' Francis and Ronald 'Suki' King at the historic Mbotela Social Hall on Jamhuri Day in a best-of-ten series to be played on a 3-variation move.

Francis is expected into the country on Thursday evening while King is still making arrangements for his arrival into the country.

Francis and King recently topped the Scottish 3-Move Draughts Championship in Scotland that gave them wide accolades from across the globe.

The Grand Master duo have also represented Barbados at the world championships severally where they have also faced each other.

They have also qualified for the US Open countless times in their over two-decade rivalry that has given them legendary status in Barbados.

Goj who will be defending the Kenya Open title for the umpteenth time, says he's not shaken to battle the Barbadians as he has done his homework well.

Goj is motivated by the clean sheet record he posted at the recently concluded World Championships Qualifiers in Antalya, Turkey where he topped the standings together with Melikaya Nonyukela of South Africa, only for the latter to grab gold on tie-break countback that involved analysing the calibre of opponents each player has faced in the recent past.

Goj is also inspired by the fact that he beat reigning world champion Kondlo Lubabalo of South Africa in Turkey before he went ahead to smash four bronze and four silvers at the just concluded Africa Championships in Zambia.

"I'm ready for the Kenya Open, facing the Barbadians in the country is also going to uplift the standards of the game locally," Goj told Standard Sports. 

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