The Kenya Chess Association has named six players for the World Chess Olympiad that takes place in Bled, Slovenia, in October.
The elimination process started with the short-listing of 30 players from last Easter's Regional International Open Championships and ended with a play-off to decide who takes the sixth ticket to the Central European nation.
Peter Jaoko of Nakuru Chess Club overcame stiff opposition, that was highlighted by the presence of four Olympians in the final phase, at the Kenya Commercial Bank Sports Club. The qualifying event was sponsored by the bank. Jaoko was a point ahead of his opponents after garnering eight out of a possible eleven points.
All the Olympians qualified for the world event but not without stiff opposition as Ben Magana fought off a huge challenge from Nakuru's Kepha Isoe. The two players had tied on 6.5 points. Other players in the team are former national champion Humphrey Andolo, Olympian Nathan Ateka, debutante Alex Makiatia and veteran John Mukabi.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Chess Association's Youth Initiative, which started three weeks ago, takes a break until next month. The programme, sponsored by Fidelity Commercial Bank, is divided into two phases, the first one featuring chess training in public schools and the second being the Fidelity Bank Youth Chess League.
Posted by The Chess Drum: 9 August 2002