Sandra Wekesa @PeopleSports11
Equity Bank pipped KCB Group 3-2 to retain the Kenya National Premier Chess League title on the final day of matches at the Luke Hotel (Roasters) in Nairobi.
It was billed as the game of the season and it did not disappoint as the tension and drama on the boards were too much for the players to bear.
Spectators gleefully followed the proceedings on a giant screen outside the playing hall, with an animated analysis of their own.
Resplendent in their branded uniforms, both teams made their entrance to the venue amidst speculation of who was going to be fielded, since the lineups were submitted by the respective captains within minutes to the 3 pm start, perhaps to catch the opponents by surprise and deal a psychological blow to their preparation.
That notwithstanding, the Deadly Bishops team had thrown a spanner into the works after salvaging an improbable win over the Black Knights in a game that was destined to a draw.
It set the stage for the grand finale since neither KCB nor Equity could afford to lose as the Deadly Bishops had ensured that their outside mathematical chance of winning the league now counted, depending on the outcome of this epic tie, as they were assured of second place.
KCB took their places on the boards and it was the surprise omission of the highly-rated and tactical Ugandan FIDE Master (FM) Haruna Nsubuga (2153) that was the talking point.
FM Harold Wanyama (2307), CM Ben Magana (2153), Joseph Methu (2028), Mehul Gohil (2015) and Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Goretti Angolikin (1701) lined up for the challengers.