Dutch GM visits Kenya

Kenya Kenya Kenya

GM Dmitri Reinderman arrived in Kenya on yesterday to give a chess clinic including lectures and exhibitions. He held a simultaneous exhibition of 35 players and today is holding a blindfold session. It will be the first time a Grandmaster has visited Kenya since Nigel Short’s visit in 2005, but the first training session since John Emms in 1990.

GM Dmitri Reinderman moving along the 35 boards yesterday in Nairobi. The Dutch GM scored 34-1 (draws by Rodgers Adai and Mike Rua).

The grandmaster clinic is part of a process by Nairobi Chess Club to revamp and reinvent the chess scene in Kenya. This year alone we have organized a regional league, several blitz championships and our members have supported other clubs in organizing various chess events. Next year we plan to send some top Kenya players out for international tournaments in Europe or Asia,” said Nairobi chess club Chairman Kim Bhari.

Africa is one of the regions in the world where chess has not bloomed fully, but in the past year, a number of GMs (including World Champion Viswanathan Anand) have visited the massive continent. This trickle will hopefully turn into a steady stream as Africans attempt to replicate successes seen in other developing regions. One of the problems seen in Africa is poor opportunities for strong tournaments.

When GMs are comfortable visiting Africa and when the conditions are proper, then there will be more opportunities for IM/GM norms and Africans will not have to face the crushing debt of travel and expenses to get experience. This can give the continent a boost and help to harness talent that is underdeveloped.

GM Dmitri Reinderman vs. Kenya’s top player, Ben Nguku at the Jacaranda Hotel. The Dutchman won the game on time. Photo from Nairobi Chess Club.

Nairobi Chess Club, “Chess World Grandmaster set for Kenya Test,” Chess Events EAC, 21 July 2011.


  1. Thanks for putting this up, Daaim. Yesterday’s simul was an unforgettable experience. I consider myself fortunate to have gotten a chance to photograph GM Dimitri’s entire visit to Nairobi. In fact, the guy in the purple t-shirt with a camera in his hand is me.

    A few corrections for the above article:
    1. GM Reinderman played a simul against 35 players and not 30.
    2. The venue for both the simul and blindfold exhibitions was the Jacaranda Hotel (not Jacarndo).

    1. Not sure why I kept the number 30 I had written on the photo caption 35 boards with a 34-1 score. I think when I made the initial correction it somehow was not registered.


  2. Daaim

    Many thanks for putting this up for us. Your support is greatly appreciated by us here at Nairobi Chess Club.

    Kind Regards

  3. Hello,
    I remember the Blindfold since i am the guy playing the white pieces against Ben Nguku for GM Dimitri.
    I remember wondering what the hell the GM was thinking when he made a certain Queen move (ofcourse i was also thinking through out the game)But turned out that was the winning move!! Crushing blacks defence afew moves later.
    Black was completely outplayed in the opening But Ben clarified and said that he had ventured into unfarmiliar territory by playing a defence that was relatively new to him. I dont know if the GM forced him into the unchartered waters or Ben deliberately played the defence to try complicate issues for white.
    In my opinion, a caro kann would have been much more solid a defence for black. But then again, that is just my opinion since i am light years behind these two very strong players who gave a spectacular display of chess variation calculations.

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