After years of watching others participate in the Kenya National Chess League (also known as Kenya Chess Premier League or more confusingly Kenya National Chess Premier League), my opportunity to play in it finally came last year as the captain of Anchor Chess Club. (It’s a whole other story that in 2016 when my club had begun preparing for that year’s edition in earnest, the tournament didn’t even happen due to wrangles within the federation.)

I’m saddened to inform you, though, that my experience of the tournament was anything but premier. Now before any of you call me an armchair critic or something along those lines, know that I have organised and officiated in several tournaments myself and so I am well aware of the challenges that come with this territory. Challenges should be seen and used as opportunities to improve standards, not as excuses to justify why the quality was and might continue to remain the same (or improve only marginally) in the future.

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