Mehul Gohil is a bit of a chess renaissance man. He is fully vested in the game and seems to enjoy every minute. Lately, his history in the game has taken a leap after he won the 2019 Kenya National Championships. This would not be so surprising, but what is surprising is that along with a first place engraved plaque, he also won a car!
Gohil had to wait until the last round to secure his first title since 2014. Ben Nguku was riding on his heels and needed win against Gohil to claim the Kenya crown. The game was filled with tension, but ended peacefully after brief skirmishes. Thus, Mehul Gohil won his second title and a Mazda. It may be the first time that a chess player won a car for winning a national chess championship.
Mehul Gohil accepting his first place plaque and also…
… a new car!!
In the women’s competition, Lucy Wanjiru won her first national title. The University of Nairobi physics and engineering student is known for crushing lyrics on the microphone as much as crushing her opponents in chess. An accomplished rap artist going by the name of “Lone Wolf” (YouTube, Instagram) she has been active in releasing her hard-hitting songs on her YouTube channel. Despite her varied interests, she mustered up enough energy to turn in a sparkling performance with 7.5/9. She has earned the right to compete for the Olympiad qualifier for the open team.
Lucy “Lone Wolf” Wanjiru got her title and a new laptop! Just a month ago, she was featured in the Kenyan newspaper, The Standard. She reflected on her chess humble beginnings and evolution, but now she will lead the women’s team to the 2020 Olympiad in Russia!
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Gohil Mehul (2090) 23 points The Car + Shield
Ben Nguku (2018) 22 points Shield + KES 137,500
Victor Ngani (1986) 22 points Shield + KES 112,500
Jackson Ndegwa (1958) 21 points KES 66,600
Lawrence Kagambi (1800) 21 points KES 51,600
Nathan Ateka (2126) 21 points KES 41,600
Martin Njoroge (1828) 20 points KES 25,000
Githinji Hinga (1951) 19 points KES 17,500
FM Steve Ouma (1923) 19 points KES 15,000
Trevor Mulindi (1722) 19 points KES 12,500
WCM Lucy Wanjiru (1543) 22 points Shield + KES 100,000 + Laptop
WCM Joyce Nyaruai (1653) 19 points Shield + KES 68,750
WFM Sasha Mongeli (1550) 19 points Shield + KES 56,250
Naiya Gosrani (1412) 18 points KES 30,000
Madelta Glenda (1380) 17 points KES 20,000
Daphne Mwikali (1561) 16 points KES 12,900
Vivian Muthoni (1373) 16 points KES 10,400
Francisca Kagwiria (1179) 16 points KES 9,150
Caroline Njeri 15 points KES 4,000
Evelyne Gichuru (1553) 15 points KES 4,000
Cheryl Ngima (1339) 15 points KES 4,000
All photos by Kim Bhari. Check Kenya Chess Masala for full report here!