Monday, 16 January 2012 00:00

The Uganda Chess Federation has officially launched a fundraising drive seeking to raise US dollars 18,000 (about 44 million Uganda shillings) towards sending a team of 14 to participate in the 40th World Chess Olympiad to be held in Istanbul, Turkey from August 27 to September 10 2012.

The costs are to cater for Air tickets, visa fees, registration fees and players' upkeep among other costs. UCF will be aiming at sending a Men and Ladies team for the second time in a row. Uganda first fielded a Ladies team at the 39th World Chess Olympiad held in Khanty Mansisyk, Russia in 2010. The Olympiad, the world's biggest showpiece is held every after two years.

UCF appeals to well wishers and sponsors to come in and aid the national cause. The Federation has already contacted various potential sponsors and is continuing to contact others in a bid to raise the funds.

Only two players have so far been confirmed on the teams. National Chess Champion, Arthur Ssegwanyi and Ladies' National Champion Grace Kigeni.

The second phase of the Olympiad qualifiers is set for 3-4, 8 and 10-11 March 2012 while the third and final phase is set for 17-22 April 2011. The country's three FIDE Masters are all eligible for automatic entry into the third and final phase which will feature a round robin of 12 players in the Men's category from whom four will be picked to join Ssegwanyi, who has already qualified for the team.

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