Nairobi,KENYA:The Equity Bank Chess team emerged the winners of Kenya National Chess League champions of 2017 after it played undefeated in the round-robin championship that featured 20 teams from across the country.
Under the leadership of Captain Bernard Wanjala, Equity scooped the trophy following an unbeaten winning streak, dethroning 2016 winners KCB to second place with Nairobi Chess Club, Kenya’s oldest club, closing the medal bracket.
The team has risen from an underdog 3 years ago to a front-runner, regaining the trophy that they last won in 2013.
“This has been an extremely competitive league and the quality of play has greatly improved across the teams. We are therefore very excited to bring this trophy home because it was not an easy fight,” said Wanjala.
“This win would not have been possible without the support from the Bank and our leaders. We are optimistic that we will continue to do our best and raise the Equity flag to the highest level,” he added.
Coach John Mukabi lauded players for their commitment in securing the win: “It takes discipline and focus to win. The team has been consistent and dedicated to training throughout the season. The support that members have shown to each other on and off the board is the true meaning of teamwork.”
Equity Bank’s Steve Ouma was also named the most valuable player of the league having won all his games in the season.
The team will now proceed to represent the country in the upcoming Africa Club Champions Cup next year alongside the KCB team.
Team Equity had an opportunity earlier this year to play in a similar championship in Egypt after they emerged 1st runner up in the previous season.
The win comes in the backdrop of a similar whitewash in the KIB Inter-bank games where Team Equity clinched the top position in Chess.