Woman Fide Master Sasha Mwongeli is looking to make an impressive debut at the All Africa Games set for between August 19 and 31 in Rabat, Morocco.
The 23-year-old mathematics undergraduate students at the Technical University of Kenya will be aiming for at least a silver medal at the continental showpiece.
Joyce Nyaruai will accompany Mwongeli in the women’s category with Mehul Gohil and Ricky Sang in the men’s cluster.
The quartet has been under the tutelage of World Chess Federation certified Fide Instructor Matthew Kanegeni since Sunday. The team is focusing on sharpening their mental game and hope to scoop silver medals at the individual level and gold as a team.
“Apart from the technical aspect, we hope to conquer the mental game which focuses on the player’s attitude, motivation and confidence. We should be able to at least get silver and gold at the individual and team level respectively,” said Kanegeni.
The team is hoping to pen a different narrative at the All Africa Games with Egypt, Angola and Zambia being considerable threats to the team.
Kanegeni revealed that this would be a good way to show off the players’ skills and talent in the sport.
“This international event will boost and give them the necessary exposure. The federation is planning to add players, especially in the title earnings events. So in the next two to five years, we should have players holding different titles in chess,” added the Fide Instructor.
Targeting a podium finish, Mwongeli believes that every game is worth her best and she will be banking on her experience. She has been playing chess for the past three years.
“Representing Kenya in the AAG for the first time is an honour. Despite the pressure, I will use this platform to showcase my prowess in the game. I am ready and more confident than I was the first time I ever played outside the country. It has been tough juggling between work, school and my social life but I’ve been able to pan out my schedule and make it work,” intimated Mwongeli adding.
“Being a mathematician is a plus when it comes to chess. It has helped me in my decision making when making my moves. I also realised that other chess players who I have played against also have mathematical backgrounds,” Continued the soft-spoken Mwongeli.