2005 Kenya Open--Ugandans Dominate!
Uganda Kenya Uganda
Kenya Uganda Kenya Uganda Kenya Uganda Kenya

{My name is Edwin Korir Kenyan player rated 1950. I played in the Kenya open which concluded yesterday at the Aga Khan Sports Centre, Nairobi. I was position 28 and was able to qualify for the Olympiad knock outs to start in may.}

Ugandan Steve Kawuma won the event on a tie break after getting 6/7. Ben Magana from Kenya and Hassan from Uganda also had 6 points. Moses Kawuma the Ugandan champion had 5.5 same as Kenyan Mathew Kanegeni. the tournament with its fair share of drama lived up to its billing with Kenyan players trying to hold their own against Ugandan opponents.

Steve Kawuma impressed me most until round 6 he was threatening to get 7/7! but it took another Ugandan Hassan to stop him in the last round. Steve playing black played the now famous Sveshnikov Sicilian and after

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 Bg7 11.g3 f5 12.exf5 Bxf5 13.c3 Be4

Kawuma said he had analysed this position the previous night and the books said
14.f3 was forced but Hassan played 14. Qg4!? (diagram) and the game transforming into a weird endgame Hassan eventually threatening to queen and Kawuma resigned.

Kenyan players made a comedy of errors to start it of in round 5 Mathew Kanegeni trying to impress the crowd chose a complicated line instead of picking a rook for a knight exchange. Moses Kawuma his opponent in typical Ugandan 'boa constrictor style' waited for the errors to come and they eventually did with Kanegeni losing a pawn he wanted to queen. under time pressure Kanegeni was threatening to explode while Kawuma was cool and composed Ben Magana in the same round sacrificed a bishop but his move orders were not correct. Steve Kawuma finally squeezed the win but the error of the tournament must belong to
Ben Nguku the young Kenyan prospect. in round 6 Nguku under no pressure at all placed his queen in the same file as his king and a rook pin forced him to resign. Kenya's best performer Ben Magana (magnum) was composed and apart from the round 5 debacle he played brilliant chess.

In Mulambe-Kawuma, white uncorks 14.Qg4!?

In Mulambe-Kawuma, white uncorks 14.Qg4!?

Safaricom Kenya Open
No. Name Score
1. Steven Kawuma {UGA} 6.0
2. Hassan Mulambe {UGA} 6.0
2. Ben Magana 6.0
4. Matthew Kanegeni 5.5
5. Moses Kawuma {UGA} 5.0
5. Philip Mwashe 5.0
5. Mehul Gohil 5.0
5. Ben Namale Nguku 5.0
5. Isoe Moseti 5.0
5. Martin Gateri 5.0

Complete Crosstable

Uganda by far proved a strong chess nation and Kenyan players will have to improve their game psychology if they have to stand any chance against the Ugandans. Steve and Moses Kawuma now leave for the U.S for the Maurice Ashley organized event.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 4 May 2005