The Battle for “Migingo”


Report submitted by Kim Bhari, Chairman of Nairobi Chess Club.
Event photos by Kim Bhari.

Migingo Island is situated in the middle of Lake Victoria. For decades, this fishing village has been famous for a dispute between Kenya and Uganda over who owns sovereignty.

Nairobi Chess Club continues to make waves in African chess. In 2009 it organized the first internet match against the famous Wageningen Chess Club who had Jan Timman on Board 1. In 2011 the club organized Grandmaster Dimitri Reinderman’s visit to Kenya.

This year the long awaited match against the Uganda National team took place last weekend 11th & 12th February 2012 in a match affectionately called “The Battle for Migingo”.

“Migingo” is a small 22,000 square feet island with 131 inhabitants and in the middle of Lake Victoria which is claimed by both Uganda and Kenya.

Uganda’s national champion Arthur Ssegwanyi led the Cranes with 3½/4.

The Uganda team was led by the following four players: Arthur Ssegwanyi (National Chess Champion & 3rd in Rwabushenyi Memorial Championship), Harold Wanyama (Rwabushenyi Memorial Chess Champion), Bob Bibasa (Candidate Master & 2nd in the Rwabushenyi Memorial Chess Championship), Haruna Nsubuga (National Junior Chess Champion & tied for first position in National Chess Championship).

Nairobi Chess Club was represented by Peter Gilruth (Kenya’s number 1 player), Ben Magana, Githinji Hinga and Mehul Gohil who have all represented Kenya in various international events.

The venue was the famous Goan Gymkhana Club which is the current home for Nairobi Chess Club. Time control was 90 minutes plus 30 seconds increment from move 1. The event was FIDE rated and was transmitted live on www.playchess.com.

Mehul Gohil of Nairobi Chess Club now taking a sip of “Migingo” water.

TARPO Industries (www.tarpo.com) was the event sponsor.

The event was sponsored by Vice-Chairman of the Nairobi Chess Club – Peter Gilruth who was one of the players and long- time chess support – Tarpo Industries Ltd.

At the end of day 1 Nairobi Chess Club were left licking their wounds with a 4-nil loss in round 1 and a 2½-1½ point loss in round 2.

The Battle for “Migingo” (Kenya vs. Uganda)
February 11th-12th, 2011 (playchess.com)
Round 1: Uganda 4-0 Kenya
#
Name
Flag
Rating
Result
Name
Flag
Rating
1.1 Wanyama, H
2146 1-0 Mehul, G, H
2112
1.2 Bibasa, B
2179 1-0 Ginthinji, H
2034
1.3 Ssegwanyi, A
2166 1-0 Magana, B
2152
1.4 Nsubugu, H
2149 1-0 Gilruth, P
2215
Round 2: Kenya 1½-2½ Uganda
#
Name
Flag
Rating
Result
Name
Flag
Rating
2.1 Gilruth, P
2215 0-1 Bibasa, B
2179
2.2 Mehul, G, H
2112 ½-½ Ssegwanyi, A
2166
2.3 Ginthinji, H
2034 1-0 Nsubugu, H
2149
2.4 Magana, B
2152 0-1 Wanyama, H
2146
Day 1: Uganda 6½ Kenya 1½ (PGN games)

Day 2 was not so good for Nairobi Chess Club who went down 4-nil in round 3, but recovered to win round 4 with 2½-1½ points.

Bob Bibasa (Uganda) playing Mehul Gohil (Kenya)

The Battle for “Migingo” (Kenya vs. Uganda)
February 11th-12th, 2011 (playchess.com)
Round 3: Uganda 4-0 Kenya
#
Name
Flag
Rating
Result
Name
Flag
Rating
3.1 Ssegwanyi, A
2166 1-0 Gilruth, P
2215
3.2 Bibasa, B
2179 1-0 Magana, B
2152
3.3 Wanyama, H
2146 1-0 Ginthinji, H
2034
3.4 Nsubugu, H
2149 1-0 Mehul, G, H
2112
Round 4: Kenya 2½-1½ Uganda
#
Name
Flag
Rating
Result
Name
Flag
Rating
4.1 Gilruth, P
2215 1-0 Wanyama, H
2146
4.2 Mehul, G, H
2112 ½-½ Bibasa, B
2179
4.3 Ginthinji, H
2034 0-1 Ssegwanyi, A
2166
4.4 Magana, B
2152 1-0 Nsubugu, H
2149
Day 2: Uganda 5½ Kenya 2½ (PGN games)

Participants of “The Battle of Migingo”

Peter Gilruth, VP of Nairobi Chess Club and sponsor of the event.

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

2 Comments

  1. LOL
    Judging from that photo of Bibasa playing Mehul and their drawn result, I would surmise that Bibasa had a winning or very good position that he blundered away to end up with a draw. The camera man had impeccable timing LOL

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