Kenya’s Elizabeth Cassidy dominated the Africa Schools Individual Chess Championships that came to an end today in Nairobi, Kenya.
Cassidy won all her games to rule the championships as team Kenya bagged nine medals, two gold medals, three silver medals and four bronze medals in the one week championships that kicked off on December 12th.
Cassidy dominated the under 11 girls’ category by annihilating all her opponents to score a whopping 9 points after nine rounds. The scoring system in the game of chess is one point for a win, half a point for a draw, and zero for a loss.
Cassidy cruised through the rounds easily, edging off opposition from South Africa, Malawi, Uganda and her compatriots to clinch gold medal.
“It feels really nice to win. I have been training really hard and my training has finally paid off,” said an ecstatic Cassidy.
“My goal now is to make it to the national team in the near future but it is not going to be easy because I have the likes of Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Joyce Nyaruai, Woman Fide Master (WFM) Mongeli Sasha and WCM Wanjiru Lucy to beat.” She added.
Cassidy is the only Kenyan player with maximum points in the tournament.
Kenya’s Wambui Bernice secured third spot by scoring 6.5 points, 2.5 points behind category leader Cassidy. South Africa’s Naidoo Kajol took second place with 7 points.
In the open section, Kenya’s Muiruri Don scored 7 points, winning silver, just half a point behind top seed Mungal Ethan of South Africa who scored 7.5 points.
Ingado Mercy gave Kenya gold after garnering 7.5 points by taking out Uganda’s Namirimu Britney in the final round of the under 17 girls’ category.
After losing to Botswana’s WCM Refilwe Tsutsu in round seven, Mercy put up a fighting spirit to beat Zimbabwe’s Mawire Rumbidzai and Uganda’s Namirimu Britney in the following two rounds respectively that propelled her to the top of the podium.
Jamie Obora from Kenya managed to take the third spot, winning silver in the under 13 open category despite being humbled by his compatriot Olando Paul in the last round.
In the under 13 girl’s category, WCM Shah Devashri secured the runner-up position with 7 points, a point behind tournament leader and top seed, Malawian Dutt Lakshita.
Devashri had a shaky start after losing two games in rounds three and five but came back from behind to win five games in a row, which was not enough to overtake top seed Dutt.
South Africa swept the top three spots in the under 17 open category, leaving Kenya’s top seeds Robert Mcligeyo, 5 points, and Muchiri Rocky, 4.5 points, at a distant seventh and eleventh positions respectively.
Kenya’s Candidate Master (CM) Lwanga Aguda bagged silver medal with 7.5 points in the under 15 open category after drawing with Goliath Brimarion of South Africa in the last round. Aguda, the top seed in the category lost narrowly to gold medalist Pido Edwin of Uganda in an earlier highly contested round four clash. Uganda also took bronze.
Harry Kags of Kenya beat Zimbabwe’s Aidan Magudhu in the final round to secure bronze in the under nine open category. He trails behind Uganda’s Mibiru Jayden who is in second place with 8 points, and Ghana’s Acheampong Dave in first place with 9 points.
In the under seven open, Manyeki Nathaniel narrowly missed the podium after attaining 6 points to secure fourth position. Ghana and South Africa clinched the top three spots.
The championship attracted 166 players from Kenya, Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe with Kenya and South Africa fielding the largest number of players at 67 and 41 respectively.