Uganda's Elijah Emojong was among the first two players to arrive in Khartoum, Sudan to compete in the Zone 4.2 Africa Chess Championship whose first round will be played on Friday 20th May 2011 starting at 17:30 hours.
Emojong left Entebbe aboard Ethiopian Airlines on Thursday 18th MAy 2011 and touched down at Khartoum International Airport at 1:40 hrs this morning (19th May 2011).
Speaking on phone from Khartoum this morning, the Ugandan chess ace was in high spirits and said he had been so far accorded a warm reception by the hosts. He and another player from Cameroon were the first to arrive ahead of a Technical meeting and opening ceremony scheduled for today (Thursday 19th May 2011).
Sudan Chess Federation President, Eng. Tarig Ali Zaroug confirmed that five countries had confirmed participation in the event and was expecting to receive other players from Sierra Leone and Egypt to join the hosts Sudan, Cameroon and Uganda ahead of the first round game. The most notable absentees are neighbours Kenya who also belong to the same zone.
Uganda's female representative Goretti Angolikin could not make it on the same flight as Emojong but is scheduled to leave Entebbe aboard Ethiopian Airlines on Friday 20th May 2011 at 5:30 hrs arriving on Saturday 21st May 2011 at 1:40 hrs. She will not miss any game as the hosts have confirmed that the Ladies event will start a day after the men's event starts.
A total of nine rounds will be played with one game per day. Each game will be 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game (per player), with an increment of 30 seconds per move. Each game could therefore last well over four hours.
The winners in each category will become International Masters while the second and third FIDE Masters.
The major threat to Uganda's title aspirations is Egypt, which has 3 Grandmasters and 24 International Masters and is according to FIDE rankings the highest rated African country at number 51 with an average rating of 2464. Uganda is ranked number 101 with 4 titled players (2 FMs and 2 CMs) with an average rating of 2165. Sudan is ranked number 120 and Cameroon in 130th position.
Each country is eligible to field a maximum of three players in each category while the hosts can field up to four players in each category.
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