Kenya’s KCB Chess Club dominated the three-day Rwanda Open Chess competition that ended on Sunday in Kigali where six locals got the coveted World Chess Federation (FIDE) rating to put the tally of rated Rwandans at 14.
They include Jean Baptiste Hakizimana (Remera Chess Club); Eugene Kagabo (Eagles Chess Club); Gabriel Ntabonsanganywe; Ben Tom Zimulinda and Rugema Ngarambe (Vision Chess Club); and Fernand Mugisha (KIST Chess Club).
To be rated, they had to play five rated opponents in the nine-round competition. A win (1.0), or a draw (0.5), was the basic requirement to secure a rating.
Rugema, Zimulinda, Hakizimana, Kagabo, Ntabonsanganywe and Mugisha garnered 5.0, 4.0, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, and 1.0 points respectively.
Three Kenyans: Isaac Babu Odiah (5.5), Purity Maina (3.5) and Martin Gichia (1.5) also garnered points to get rated. The newly rated players’ ratings will be confirmed by FIDE next month.
“This was a very successful tournament, thanks to Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa (KCFA), Chess Kenya and KCB Chess Club,” said the Rwanda Chess Federation vice president, Kevin Ganza.
He added, “Our players learned a lot from Kenya’s best players like Ben Magana and Stephen Ouma.”
Magana (Candidate Master) emerged winner after winning all his nine games while compatriots, Stephen (FIDE Master) and Philip Singe Mbawala were second and third respectively.
Magana said: “Rwanda has great potential but this will be boosted if the ministry of education includes the game in its special programmes.”