Battle for “Migingo” in Nairobi

3/14/2012 – Nairobi Chess Club continues to make waves in African chess. In 2009 it organized the first Internet match against the famous Wageningen Chess Club, which had Jan Timman on board one. This year the long awaited match against the Uganda National the match affectionately called “The Battle for Migingo”. Big and sometimes startling report by Kim Bhari.

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The Battle for “Migingo”

Report and photos by Kim Bhari – Chairman of Nairobi Chess Club

The Uganda team was led by the following four players; Arthur Ssegwanyi (National Chess Champion and third in Rwabushenyi Memorial Championship), Harold Wanyama (Rwabushenyi Memorial Chess Champion), Bob Bibasa (Candidate Master and second in the Rwabushenyi Memorial Chess Championship), Haruna Nsubuga (National Junior Chess Champion and tied for first position in National Chess Championship)

Nairobi Chess Club was represented by Peter Gilruth (Kenya’s number one player), Ben Magana, Githinji Hinga and Mehul Gohil, who have all represented Kenya in various international events. Migingo is a small, 22,000 square feet island with 131 inhabitants in the middle of Lake Victoria, which is claimed by both Uganda and Kenya.

The venue was the famous Goan Gymkhana Club, which is the current home for Nairobi Chess Club.  Time control was 90 minutes plus 30 seconds increment from move one. The event was FIDE rated and was transmitted live on Playchess.com. The event was sponsored by Vice-Chairman of the Nairobi Chess Club, Peter Gilruth, who was one of the players, and long- time chess sponsors Tarpo Industries Ltd.

At the end of the first day one the Nairobi Chess Club were left licking their wounds with a 0-4 loss in round one and a 1.5-2.5 point loss in round two.

Round 1 Round 2
Wanyama H (1) vs Mehul G (0) Bibasa B G (0) vs Gilruth P (1)
Githinji H (0)  vs Bibasa B G (1) Mehul G (1/2) vs Ssegwanyi A (1/2)
Ssegwanyi A (1) vs Magana B (0) Nsubuga H (1) vs Githinji H (0)
Gilruth P (0) vs Nsubuga H (1) Magana B (0) vs Wanyama H (1)


Peter Gilruth of the Nairobi Chess Club


Contemplative and relaxed: Arthur Ssegwanyi of Uganda


Ben Magana of the Nairobi Chess Club with a cool wildlife shirt


Mehul Gohil of the Nairobi Chess Club taking a sip of “Migingo” water

Day two was again not so good for Nairobi Chess Club, who went down 0-4 nil in round three and recovered to win round 4 with 2.5-1.5 points.

Round 3 Round 4
Ssegwanyi A (1) vs Gilruth P (0) Gilruth P  (1) vs Wanyama H (0)
Magana B (0) vs Bibasa B G (1) Bibasa B G (1/2) vs Mehul G (1/2)
Wanyama H (1) vs Githingi H (0) Githinji H (0) vs Ssegwanyi A (1)
Mehul G (0) vs Nsubuga H (1) Nsubuga H (0) vs Magana B (1)

The overall result was a 12 to 4 point win for the Uganda team.


Haruna Nsubuga of Uganda (blue shirt) takes on Ben Magana of the Nairobi Chess Club


Who said that chess cannot shock you?  Bob Bibasa of Uganda


Mehul Gohil of the Nairobi Chess Club lost two games and drew two


Harold Wanyama of Uganda posing for “Migingo TV”


Haruna Nsubuga of Uganda


Githinji Hinga of the Nairobi Chess Club


The victorious Uganda Team with their “Migingo” trophy, held by Kim Bhari of the
Nairobi Chess Club, which have promised to have a return match next year!


The participants hold their trophies: Christopher Turyahabwe (second from left) the
Secretary of the Uganda Chess Federation was the manager of the team.


Sights of Nairobi and Kenya


Nairobi’s skyline


The famous Kenyatta International Conference Centre


The founding father of the Nation – Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. The
statue is outside the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.


The famous Macmillan Library in downtown Nairobi


Grandmaster Dimitri Reinderman who visited Nairobi last year in a trip organized by
the Nairobi Chess Club, posing in front of the National Museum of Kenya


Giraffe feeding at the Nairobi National Park


A common eland in Nairobi National Park, with Nairobi city in the background

Addendum: Johan Geyser of Cape Town, South Africa tells us that the above photo incorrectly identifies the antelope as an Eland. "It is definitely not an Eland, and looks like a Hartebeest," he tells us.


Mud, mud, glorious mud, nothing quite like it for cooling the blood! Orphan elephants
under care at the David Sheldrick Centre In Nairobi

Copyright Bhari/ChessBase


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