IM Arthur Ssegwanyi and FM Patrick Kawuma are on a roll in the ongoing Olympiad and Africa Individual Qualifiers after each won their first four games in a row. Ssegwanyi registered one of the biggest wins in the event this far by outwitting a 2258 rated Walter Okas in the fourth round played on Sunday 7th February, 2016 at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Rubaga. The loss was Okas' first in four games and it wasn't easy for the IM to grind out the much needed win that now puts him in a fairly comfortable position with 7 rounds to spare.
Kawuma, who is also in the driver's seat alongside Ssegwanyi had to dig deep in order to earn his fourth win against Simon Gonza in a cat and mouse game that lasted hours on end.
There is still a lot to play for as the tide can still change in the remaining rounds. The next four rounds are likely to feature must-win situations as some perennial contenders like FM Harold Wanyama are struggling with 2 points out of a possible 4. Wanyama beat Rajab Kamoga in the fourth round to register his second point after losing two consecutive games to Simon Gonza and Walter Okas, which puts him in a rather unfamiliar position in the Qualifiers.
Edgar Ntende, who dominated play in the second phase continued with his slow start in this round robin event by registering a third consecutive draw against Daniel Bagaadde in the fourth round.Farouk Fauza who has so far been literally sweating profusely during games managed to force a draw against Emmanuel Mwaka in the fourth round to get to one point out of a possible 4. On other boards, one of the only unrated players in the event, a rising youngster Richard Kato showed no respect to experience by bringing down a hard fighting Bob Bibasa to get to 1.5 points.
In the ladies category, WFM Grace Kigeni is having a field day after beating Shakira Ampaire and Joan Nakimuli in the last two rounds to remain unbeaten with 4 out of 4 points, full point ahead of her closest challengers.
Seriously in contention are Phiona Mutesi, Olympian Goretti Angolikin, Stella Babirye and Winnie Okoth with each having 3 out of 4 points. Mutesi strategically drew her last two games against WFMs Christine Namaganda and Goretti Angolikin in the third and fourth rounds respectively.
In her other game played today, Angolikin drew with Joyce Kabengano to also remain unbeaten. Babirye Stella drew with Nakimuli and Kabengano while Winnie Okoth beat Nakayima Vanessa and Shakira Ampaire.
The Qualifiers take a week's break as the fifth, sixth, seventh and eigth rounds continue next weekend at the same venue. The top five men and top five ladies will qualify to represent Uganda at the World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan in September 2016 and in the Africa Individual to be held in Kampala, Uganda in May 2016.
Details of the two events can be accessed at: Open Category
and Ladies Category