While the just ended Zone 4.2 Africa Chess Championship Open winner, IM elect Arthur Ssegwanyi was the biggest beneficiary from the event, there were many individual winners who attained titles, hefty cash prizes and others gained rating points and invaluable international tournament experience. It was therefore not a case of winner takes it all at City Oil, Kiira Road as the event climaxed on Saturday 25th
Ssegwanyi reciving the top prize (1000Euros, Trophy and a brand new mountain bicycle) from Al Hajji Omar Mandela
Ssegwanyi is now already warming up to the mouth-watering trip to the 2015 World Chess Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan later this year as one of five African representatives. The others being the winners of the Zone 4.1, Zone 4.3, Zone 4.4 and the winner of the upcoming Africa Individual Chess Championship to be held in Cairo, Egypt at the beginning of May.
In the Zone 4.2 Chess Championship, Ssegwanyi won six games and drew three to snatch a prestigious winners' trophy, top cash prize of 1000 Euros and a brand new mountain bike unbeaten in nine gruelling rounds. He beat Uganda's Daniel Baagadde, Raphael Buti and CM Patrick Kawuma in the first three rounds before defeating Egyptian International Master Hesham Abdelrahman in the fourth round. He then played out a long and tiresome draw with Ugandan International Master Elijah Emojong in the fifth before returning in the sixth round with all guns blazing to inflict defeat on Uganda’s FIDE Master Harold Wanyama. He then tactfully drew with Egyptian Grandmaster El Gindy Essam in a well played seventh round game. The eighth round was simply decisive as he beat Ethiopia’s Tadese Estube Haileselassie to win the event with a round to spare due Hesham Abdelrahman's loss to Haruna Nsubuga. While his last and ninth round was more of a formality (as no player could dislodge him from the top at that point), he still played with vigour looking for a win against Ethiopia’s Mesfin Leykun but the opponent played well and forced him into a draw.
While Ssegwanyi was the biggest winner, a total of seven players in the Open and six in the ladies categories are on the verge of getting titles. The players include Uganda's CM Patrick Kawuma who is upgrading to FIDE Master status, Uganda's Raphael Buti (FIDE Master), Ethiopia's Mesfin Leykun (Candidate Master), Kenya's Ken Omolo (Candidate Master), Tanzania's Yusuf Mdoe (Candidate Master) and Uganda’s Daniel Baagadde (Candidate Master). The ladies include Egypt's Tasneem Ehab (WIM), Uganda’s Grace Kigeni (WFM), Egypt’s Eman Elansary (WFM), Uganda's Goretti Angolikin (WCM), Ethiopia's Ruth Eshete (WCM) and Uganda's Christine Namaganda (WCM).
Among all these, Buti was the unsung hero (Daily Monitor: Chess: Buti happy to beat Egyptian Grandmaster
). He not only conquered Egyptian Grandmaster El Gindy Essam at his first time of asking in a major international event but also finished with 6 out of 9 points, a score that grants him the much coveted FIDE Master title. Wanyama, who had a slow start and played way below his full potential eventually came good in the final round when he became the second Ugandan to beat Grandmaster El Gindy in the same event.
CM Haruna Nsubuga should count himself as the most unfortunate player in this zonal. While he finished in joint fifth position with GM Essam, IM Emojong and Ethiopia's Mesfin Leykun and picked up a share of the cash prize, he missed out on attaining the valuable FIDE Master title owing to an immature decision during his last game against Kenya's Ken Omolo. During that game, which Uganda's Nsubuga lost, the Kenyan player offered the Ugandan a draw but Haruna opted to play for a win, only to lose the game yet a draw would have propelled him to 6 points out of 9 and granted him a FIDE Master title! No amount of cash prize can compensate for a title. Losing such a chance of attaining it on home soil implies need to pay much more to travel to overseas events for a shot at gaining the title.
A total of 4500 Euros was given out to the winners in the Open and Ladies categories. 7 countries participated in the event and the top ten out of 22 participants in the Open were as follows:
FM Arthur Ssegwanyi (UGA) 7.5 points
IM Hesham Abdlrahman (EGY) 6.5 points
CM Patrick Kawuma (UGA) 6.5 points
Raphael Buti (UGA) 6 points
GM El Gindy Essam (EGY) 5.5 points
IM Elijah Emojong (UGA) 5.5 points
Mesfin Leykun (ETH) 5.5 points
CM Haruna Nsubuga (UGA) 5.5 points
Kenneth Omolo (KEN) 5 points
FM Harold Wanyama (UGA) 5 points
The ladies category was won by Egypt's WCM Ehab Tasneem who is now destined to become a Woman International Master. She picked up a near perfect score of 8 points out of 9. She was followed by Uganda's Grace Kigeni with 7 points, a performance that grants her a Woman FIDE Master title.
Early pace setter, WFM Ivy Amoko took the trophy for third place with 6.5 points, the same number of points with Egypt's WCM Eman Elansary. Elansary will upgrade to WFM status. The other beneficiaries in terms of titles are Uganda's Goretti Angolikin (WCM), Ehtiopia's Eshete Ruth Leykun (WCM) and Uganda's Christine Namaganda (WCM title).
Honourable Minister of Sports Charles Bakabulindi, Secretary General Jasper Aligawesa, UCF President Vianney Luggya, sector Arbiter Rehema Khimulu pose with the Uganda Delegation at the opening ceremony.
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