Battle-hardened Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) will make a twin-pronged Kenyan assault in the Africa club championship slated for Cairo, Egypt, on July 23-August 1.
Under the auspices of the African Chess Confederation (ACC), the Egyptian Chess Federation (ECF) in conjunction with Eastern Company Club invited all African Chess Federations affiliated to the World Chess Federation (FIDE) to send two of their best clubs to participate in the continental showcase. The Kenya Chess Federation settled on the two local adversaries who finished first and second respectively in the league standings last year.
Equity Bank will rely on highly experienced players like International Masters Arthur Ssegwanyi and Elijah Emojong, reining national champion Kenneth Omolo, Fide Master Steve Ouma, Peter Diing, Moses Andiwoh, Victor Hongo, Benard Wanjala, Njagi Kabugu ,John Mukabi.
Other notable players include Woman Fide Masters Ivy Amoko, Sanjana Deshpande and Daphne Mwikali. On the other hand, KCB will be represented by former national champion Ben Magana, Fide Master Harold Wanyama, Jackson Kamau, Philip Singe, Ben Nguku, Ricky Sang’, Wachira Wachania, Joseph Methu, Gloria Jumba and Woman Fide Master Rose Wabuti.
This will be an acid test for the two clubs which have dominated the local chess scene and it remains to be seen if they can replicate the same at the continental level. Meanwhile, Equity Bank cemented their lead on the league standing with 34 points after winning their highly-contested match against Checkmates chess club over the weekend with 4-1 score.
Nairobi Chess Club follows closely with 33 points with KCB third at 30 points. In other matches, Nairobi Chess Club beat Tritonites Stars 5-0 as Strathmore University prevailed 3-2 against Kenyatta University. Sparkles women, a side that was scheduled to stage their opening match against NYS were a no show as they handed the latter a walkover, the first of the season.