2015 Millionaire Chess Satellite (Nairobi, Kenya)

Kenya Kenya Kenya

Uganda’s Harold Wanyama (right) beat his compatriot and top-seed IM Elijah Emojong in an important 5th round encounter. He went on to win his last three games to take the first of three qualifying tournaments in Africa. Photo by Kasparov Chess Foundation.

The first of the three satellite tournaments in Africa took place in Nairobi, Kenya from April 30th to May 3rd and sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation. The tournament apparently won many plaudits as described by the many comments seen on Facebook including the one below…

Kenya Millionaire Satellite Chess festival – Great event, wonderfully organized, superb venue and the best part – very fairly handled – congrats to all winners and keep it up Chess Kenya….. Ameet Parikh

The tournament organization had its glitches in the beginning, but seemed to handle all of the extenuating circumstances. This included remedying the idea of “match-fixing” a worrisome trait of some Kenyan tournaments. In the last rounds of the tournaments, the pairings were held until 10 minutes before the round to prevent any type of collusion. There were approximately 200 players in the three sections: Prestige, Open and Juniors.

In the end, FM Harold Wanyama won with a convincing 7.5/8 to win an all expenses paid trip and entry to the Millionaire Chess Open in Las Vegas, USA. He will be the first Ugandan team national player to compete in the U.S. in recent memory since Grace Nsubuga played back in 2001.

Wanyama had to ward off a stiff challenge from Kenya’s Lawrence Kagambi who started a blistering 5/5 despite being rated on 1649 FIDE. After his surprising start, he lost to Wanyama and then Haruna Nsubuga to fall into the quartet of Kenyans (Mowlid Ahmed, Kenneth Omolo and Joseph Atwoli) to end on 6/8.

Amy Lee of Millionaire Chess (center) sitting at the head table with Githinji Hinga (Chairman of Chess Kenya), Graham Jurgensen (Executive Director of Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa), Satish Deshpande (Tournament Director & CEO of Chess Kenya), Harold Wanyama (winner of Millionaire Chess Satellite – Kenya). Photo by Kim Bhari.

TV Coverage of Millionaire Chess

Video by KBC Kenya.

Corrections on video…

  1. The sponsoring company name is Millionaire Chess and NOT Chess Millionaire (which is a scam).
  2. Winner is NOT going to get $1,000,000. $1,000,000 is the total payout

After Wanyama’s victory, GM Maurice Ashley , co-founder of Millionaire Chess franchise posted a congratulatory message…

FIDE Master Harold Wanyama of Uganda is the winner of the MC satellite tournament held in Kenya this weekend. Harold gets an all-expenses paid trip to Vegas under the auspices of MC and the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa! Congratulations Harold!

2015 Millionaire Chess Satellite
Nairobi, Kenya, April 30th-May 3rd
(Kenyatta International Conference Centre)
Full Results

The 2015 Millionaire Chess Open

Thursday, October 8th through Monday, October 12th 2015


email address: contact@millionairechess.com
website: https://millionairechess.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HighStakesChess
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/millionairechess
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MillionaireChess


* * *


  1. Photos from Millionaire Chess Satellite – Kenya
    Photos by Kim Bhari and Amy Lee.

    Courtyard outside of the Kenyatta Centre

    Site of the Millionaire Chess Satellite
    Kenyatta International Conference Centre

    Who is the gallant man immortalized on a throne?

    founding father and first President of Kenya

    Venue for the Prestige Section… nice! 🙂


    Round one action in the Open section.

    Open and Reserve sections playing in Parliament!
    Click to see larger image.

    Amy interacting with some of the younger participants.

    Amy Lee PLAYING CHESS!? 🙂

    Amy Lee preparing to present FM Harold Wanyama with his prize.

    As a participant in the Millionaire Chess Open,
    it will be Wanyama’s first time to the USA.

  2. Hey nice coverage!!! , Um just checkin it out from the Buffalo Public Library bout to go over to chess.com and have some fun! LATER DRUMMERS!!!

  3. Dear All,

    I wish to take this opportunity to personally thank each and everyone of you for playing an important part in this tournament…. either as a participant, as a parent, as a visitor, as an arbiter, as an organizer, as a sponsor, as a critic or as an angel in disguise – silently helping us (the organizers) ensuring that the end-result is so good, it’s talked about for eons to come.

    I bow to you in total respect, in total humility.May your tribe increase manifold.

    This tournament was a first in more ways than one:
    1. It was the first time KICC was used as a venue of an international Chess tournament
    2. It was the first time 3 FIDE-rated tournaments (Prestige, Open & Juniors) were happening at the same time, packaged as one
    3. It was the first time in the history of any Chess tournament in Kenya that the prize-fund was over KES 1 Million
    4. It was the first time where the winner walked away with US $ 7,000/- prize money
    5. It was the first Millionaire Satellite Chess Tournament to happen on the continent, nay the world
    6. It was the first time where over 190 players took part in one FIDE-rated tournament in Kenya
    7. It was the first time there were participants from 5 different federations
    8. It was the first time Chess Kenya has an event with a CEO
    9. It was the first time untitled arbiters got FIDE-Arbiter norm
    10. It was the first time an untitled organizer got International Organizer (IO) norm

    If there were many good things about the tournament, there were some challenges too:
    We ran out of name tags for participants and visitors on the evening of Thursday (April 30) leading to a slight delay in the start of the Open & Junior Sections on the morning of Friday (May 1). We really didn’t expect such a huge turnout.

    The Open and Junior Sections were held in the open area on the first day. The sudden change in climate inconvenienced many participants, especially the little ones. We were forced to relocate the Open & Junior Sections to the Amphitheater

    During the tournament, some of the clocks misbehaved which forced the arbiters to either change the batteries or to replace the clocks.

    Whilst thanking you for your cooperation and understanding, I take this opportunity to assure you that we are doing all it takes to ensure we don’t face such challenges in future.

    And we are not resting on our laurels. After applauding our efforts WRT Millionaire Tournament, Jackson Kamau requested us ‘to keep our feet firmly on the ground but keep our faith in the clouds’. And we are doing just that.

    We have already started burning the midnight oil. Preparations are underway to organize the Kenya National League Championship beginning June 2015. Dates and venues will be updated later.

    We are in active discussions with Mr. Lewis Ncube, President of the African Chess Confederation to permit us to host the AFRICA ZONE 4.2 UNDER-16 CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP in Kenya. If all goes as planned, we shall shortly update all of you on the dates and venue for this tournament. This is will be a first for Chess Kenya.

    My dream is to, one fine day, host the World Youth Chess Championship in Kenya. And with your support and guidance, I am sure this dream will come true.

    Warm regards,

    Satish Deshpande
    CEO – Chess Kenya

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button