Newbie Nissi Kerandi will encounter has set herself up against tough opposition at the second edition of the Karen Open Rapid Fire chess tournament at the Karen Country Club today.
The unranked junior player (U12) and Nicole Ogaga are the only women who will battle for top honours in the one day battle of wits showpiece that has attracted 10 top male chess players.
Deadly Bishop’s and former Chess Kenya president Githinji Hinga will be defending the title he won last November at the same venue. Last year, the tournament was played in seven rounds where Hinga won five games and drew two, but today’s competition has been reduced to six rounds.
He, however, has to shake off stiff opposition from tournament’s top seed duo from Nairobi Chess Club who are senior player (S65) Peter Gilruth who has 2123 rating points and Gohil Mehul (2086). Hinga is the third top rated player with 2085 points.
Rating points notwithstanding, this being a battle of wits and with the likes of Fide Master Stephen Ouma (1990) of Nairobi Chess Academy and Club and Kenya Commercial Bank’s Joseph Methu who drew with Hinga in 2018 in the field, tables are bound to turn. Others who have signed up for the competition are Bryan Toboso (NCAC), Trojan Warriors’ Harmony Odhiambo, Black Knights’ Caleb Chege, Anchor’s Chess Club’s junior player Viraj Bhaveshu (U14) and Edwin Ngatia.