Nathan Ateka Kenya’s Highest Rated Chess Player

Currently, Kenya’s highest-rated chess player is Nathan Ateka with a FIDE rating of 2131. He won the Kenya National Championship in 2005 and represented Kenya in several Chess Olympiads. However, few would argue that Ateka is Kenya’s strongest chess player. So, what do these ratings really tell us?

Ateka attained his rating by winning or drawing against higher-rated opponents. He reached his highest ranking in January 2005. Since then he has maintained his rating by not playing too many games. Meanwhile, active chess players were picking points off each other. To overtake Ateka, they will have to beat stronger opponents like the highly-rated Ugandans.

Today’s Game Spotlight features a game from the 35th Chess Olympiad of 2002 played in Bled, Slovenia. Ateka has the white pieces against Ezio Righi of San Marino.

The Ruy Lopez Exchange variation is a good opening choice for White. Positions tend to be balanced and the stronger player ends up winning. In this game, Black had the better opening, but White demonstrated superior positional play in the middle and end game.

Nathan Ateka played in the 2019 Kenya Chess Championship and only narrowly missed out on the top prize. Who knows he might be Kenya’s strongest chess player after all. Perhaps we will look at one of his games to see how it has evolved over all these years.

That’s all folks. Stay on top of COVID-19 by following the WHO Guidelines and keep climbing the FIDE ratings by beating stronger opponents like Nathan Ateka.

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