Inaugural Kisumu Chess Festival sets stage for bright future for sport in Kenya


In a thrilling climax to the inaugural 2023 Kisumu Chess Festival, young prodigies emerged victorious, etching their names in the annals of the region’s chess history.

Under 6 Boys witnessed the rise of Kyle Aswa, whose strategic prowess outshone his peers, securing the top spot. Meanwhile, Tatianna Star showcased her remarkable skills to claim victory in the Under 6 Girls category.

The Under 10 Boys division witnessed an intense battle, with Floyd Wasonga emerging triumphant, displaying strategic finesse that belied his age.

Skylar Amor mirrored this triumph in the Under 10 Girls category, proving her mettle on the chessboard.

As the age categories progressed, so did the intensity of the competition. Trevor Maoga’s strategic brilliance earned him the title of the best Under 12 Boys player, while Shukri Shakira dominated the Under 12 Girls category with a display of exceptional skill.

Jesse Fabian and Zena Ibrahim emerged as the best players in the Under 14 Boys and Girls categories, respectively, showcasing their prowess and determination.

Rishit Ravat’s strategic acumen propelled him to victory in the Under 16 Boys division, while David Praise claimed the title of the best Under 18 Boys player.

The pinnacle of the event, however, was the exhilarating simultaneous exhibition by Candidate Master Ben Magana. Engaging 54 of Kisumu’s brightest minds, Magana’s prowess was unparalleled as he registered an astounding 52 wins and two draws.

One draw was against student Kennedy Ochieng, and the other against parent Rose Magana. Reflecting on the experience, Magana lauded the quality of games played by the parents and students, underscoring the growth of chess in the region.

Tournament Director Andrew Owili expressed gratitude to the participants, teachers, and parents, deeming the event an unqualified success.

Looking to the future, Owili shared his optimism, stating, “This tournament is just the beginning. We’re sowing the seeds for a vibrant chess community in Kisumu, nurturing young minds to become grandmasters of tomorrow.”

The 2023 Kisumu Chess Festival marked not just a competition but a significant step forward for chess enthusiasts in the region, promising a bright future for the game.

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