Kenya will aim for an improved performance at the next edition of the World Chess Olympiad in 2020, according to Chess Kenya President Bernard Wanjala.
The Kenyan team, which arrived back Tuesday from this year’s edition of the Olympiad held in Batumi, Georgia, won two individual titles in the women’s category.
Sasha Mongeli, who had previously gained a Women Candidate Master (WCM) title during the 15-day event, went one step better and attained the higher Women Fide Master (WFM) title with two rounds to score.
Her score of eight wins out of nine games was one of the best in the Olympiads and the highest percentage score by a Kenyan in the Olympiad’s history.
Compatriot Lucy Wanjiru who also attained a WCM title after stunned her higher rated opponent in a well-played rook ending.
And Wanjala, who was elected Africa Chess Confederation Vice President at the biennial global event, has promised sweeping reforms that will see Kenya become a chess giant in years to come.
“We want to make chess a vibrant sport in the region. We plan to introduce chess in schools’ program that is vital for the growth of the game at all levels,” said Wanjala.
His sentiments were echoed by newly-elected FIDE President Arkady Divorkovich.
“We want to start bringing more success stories in Fide and I want to contribute immensely to this. Kenya is key in our global agenda,” said Arkady.
KCB Group Chief Operating Officer Samuel Makome lauded the team for giving a good fight in Georgia.
“We are proud of what the team has achieved especially the ladies. We should now focus on improving our game playing and resilience,” he said.