Over 100 players have so far registered for the 40th edition of the Kenya Open Chess Championship that gets underway Friday at the KCB Leadership Center, Karen.
The four-day tournament is the most prestigious event in Chess Kenya's calendar of events as it attracts players from neighbouring countries including Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Rwanda.
The event is divided into three categories; the Open which all players are eligible for; Ladies and Junior for anyone under the age of 18 years. The winner in the Open section will walk away with Sh100, 000 with the top lady earning Sh50, 000. The junior winners will earn medals and certificates.
The reigning Kenya Open Champion, Fide Master (FM) Harold Wanyama from Uganda, will face stiff competition from his fellow teammates Candidate Master (CM) Ben Magana and two-time Olympian Joseph Methu from Kenya.
In the ladies' category, the reigning champion Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Joyce Nyaruai, will face stiff competition from Kenya National Champion Gwen Jumba of KCB Chess Club.
Chess Kenya chairman Benard Wanjala said they expect 200 players to register ahead of the Thursday's 6pm deadline.
"This is the biggest event in our calendar and I know the competition this year will be high based on the number of players we expect," he told Nation Sport on Wednesday.
The Open and Ladies categories will be played over seven rounds, two games a day with a time control of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds increment from move one.
The junior section will be played on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21 April over six rounds, with a time control of 60 minutes per player to finish.