Florence Megh in action during the 2021 Mudasa Chess Tournament. [Washington Onyango,Standard]

There is hope at last for the growth of chess in the Western Region after the return of chess championships in Kisumu.

Since the coronavirus pandemic struck last year, Chess which was marked as high-risk contact sports by the Ministry of Sports has been in the sidelines despite the return to play of other sports.

However, that changed on Saturday with the first chess championship organized since last year taking place in the lake region.

The Mudasa Chess Youth Tournament attracted over 170 students with National Chess Instructor Isaac Ondeng who also doubled as the tournament director echoing the importance of chess to students.

Patrick Okware in action during the 2021 Mudasa Chess Tournament. [Washington Onyango,Standard]

“Through chess, students improve their general learning skills; learn important social/interactive skills and an important array of intellectual skills. Many countries have officially recognized the value of learning chess and have integrated chess into the curriculum,” said Ondeng.

In the tournament, Patrick Okware finished top in the Under-14 category (grade 7) with six points followed by Jimmy Thomas.

In the under 12 category, Tarryn Joseph and Victor Tindi (grade 6) led Darren Dwayne and Charles Nelson (grade 5) in the top four players as Gawson Junior and Brianna Brandy emerged top in the under 10.

Other players who performed better in their categories include Reyne Carson, Stanley Ouma and Priscah Akinyi (grade 3) and Otera Alayna and Andy Wallace (grade 2).

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