Kenya Commercial Bank’s Joseph Methu floored five of his six opponents and drew one to win the six-round TABAN Rapid Chess Tournament.
Methu had won his first four matches when he met a stubborn and little-known Hugh Misiko (Knight Riders) in the fifth round. By the fifth round, he had had a winning spree only dotted with a single draw. At this juncture, he was proving to be a real threat. The only rat that could put a bell in the cat’s neck and players who’d inched closer to the top prize were hoped Misiko would waylay Methu. But the banker came out as a mutation of a carnivore that does not discriminate its type of food as he effortlessly took down Misiko.
By the last round, Joseph Methu had already confirmed he had bagged the prize needing to only hunt for a draw. When Walela sat opposite Methu in the last round, he was aware that he was going to encounter raw strength. For Methu, there was nothing more to prove.
Thus, they settled for a draw and win with 5.5 points, walking away with Sh15,000.
Brian Adorwa and Moses Andiwoh were second, sharing spoils (5 points each) as Austin Walela and Martin Oyamo too tied on 4.5 points to settle for the fourth position.
the first round kicked off on a high note. There were already casualties of lethal attacks from the prepared masters of the game. Austin Walela (Deadly Bishops) was one of the first victims as he was trampled upon by Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Joyce Nyaruai (KCB).
This lady is a beast! She came in when the clock was running down and she had only five minutes while Walela had 25 minutes. However, as WCM, she proved that to be a master you do not need a whole day to thrash a patzer. She devoured Walela and ripped him apart.
Consequently, in another game, Nyaruai took on Anthony Kionga (Black Knights), a renowned arbiter in the Kenya and roasted him down to ashes of his former self. She had built a fortress of pawns from a well-established opening that Kionga could not break through and before he knew it, his defense was invaded and crushed. She sucked the life out of the arbiter’s moves, proving that knowing FIDE rules does not necessarily translate into a strong game.
In addition to the list of his unbowed wins, Equity Bank’s Moses Andiwoh added Martin Oyamo of Deadly Bishops on his list of prey. He displayed his predator skills as he wrecked Oyamo from an unexpected angle. He slithered through Oyamo’s disoriented position and pounced at a critical moment with a lethal sacrifice that left him gaping with his eyes popping. At this moment, Oyamo wished to invoke the gods of Zukertot but they were asleep.
As Andiwoh walked around with ego, he knew his worthy opponent was finished. He was dead, only waiting for cremation in a checkmate furnace. As Andiwoh came back on the board, he was heard asking his opponent, “Where would you like to move…” A look of anger and frustration was on Oyamo’s eyes as he let his King fall with a resounding resignation.
As the tournament wore down, players redeemed themselves while others plummeted. Walela redeemed his face along the way and Francis Ngesa was a victim. In their breathtaking Bishop-Pawn endgame, they both showcased their mastery of capper tactics. It only took Ngesa’s blunder that allowed Walela to exchange the bishops that hit the last nail on his game.
Buried in his loss, Ngesa could not accept to go down alone. He undeniably overpowered Milton Mwangi and left the latter to choke himself with his own Caro-Kann to death. Adorwa (Equity) fought hard on with a booming aggression that catapulted him to the top after outwitting his last opponent.