April 13, 2024

Kenyan Championship 2023: Joseph Methu and Sasha Mongeli win titles

Joseph Methu and Sasha Mongeli emerged as the winners of the Kenya Championship, which just concluded at City Hall, Nairobi. A five-day hotly contested event attracted the finest players in the country, battling for the top prize on offer, a car. There are also cash prizes to 25 winners of various categories, including PWD.

Methu, a scientist by profession, completed the tournament undefeated, scoring an impressive 8.5/9 points. Methu has been one of the top national players and, for some time, was the highest-rated player. However, the national champion title eluded him until his star rose this year.

Elvis Likoko of Equity Bank came second ahead of defending champion Gohil Méhul of Nairobi Chess Club, all tied up with 8 points.

Methu has an impressive record dating back to 2015, when he became the national rapid champion. He also won the Kenya Open National Tournament in 2018

A member of the KCB Chess Club since November 2014, Methu represented the club in Egypt during an inter-club championship held in 2017.

The first Kenyan IM, he qualified for the national team three times to participate in the World Olympiad in 2016 in Baku, Azerbaijan, 2018 in Batumi and 2023 in Chennai, India.

„When I started chess, I was crushed year in and year out. Only three players in Kenya recognized my potential: Mehul (a very dynamic player and possibly of IM strength), FM Steve(my training partner) and a very good friend, Andiwoh. I would like to thank these three guys for their help, plus my hard work. I train really hard, especially tactical-wise,“ said Methu.

Final standings Open

In the ladies‘ section, WFM Sasha Mongeli regained her title, winning all nine games. She finished a full point ahead of defending champion Joyce Nyaruai of KCB. Madelta Glenda of Equity Bank closed the podium with 6.5 points.

Sasha, who plays for Nakuru Chess Club, was the champion in 2021 and is currently the highest-rated female player in Kenya.

Final standings Women