Ben Magana Playing the Marshall Attack

Let me start by thanking Warren Pollock for an astonishing 104 Game Spotlights over the last 2 years. His articles can still be enjoyed on our website but we hope to see him back after a well-deserved rest. I plan to continue with the weekly Game Spotlight while exploring Kenyan chess history with games of the top players. Be part of history and feature in an upcoming episode by sending us your most exciting game via

In today’s episode, we’ll look at a game played by Ben Magana against Girum Teklewold Altaye in the 3rd round of the 2018 Chess Olympiad in Batumi. Magana is one of Kenya’s finest chess players, winning the national championship in 2006, 2013, and 2017. He likes sharp tactical openings and the game we will look at is a clear example. To read more about Ben Magana check out this recent interview in the Daily Nation.

The above game teaches us to study the games of old masters like Capablanca. He actually refuted Marshall’s novelty behind the board! It also shows that we shouldn’t always play the best or best-known lines. One can be successful with sidelines even at the highest level.

Since our club won’t be opening soon you could join Nairobi Chess Club on Registration is now ongoing for a tournament that celebrates our passing of the 200 members mark. Join this great Chessfest and surprise your opponents with the Marshall Attack or other crazy sideline!

Time for me to sign off. Stay on top of COVID-19 by following the WHO Guidelines and keep playing those sharp lines to become the next Ben Magana!

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