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Uganda Online Olympiad team
Wednesday, 15 July 2020 11:48

FIRST PHASE CHESS ONLINE OLYMPIAD QUALIFIERS

Uganda Chess Federation (UCF) held the first phase of the 2020 online Chess olympiad qualifiers on saturday 11th July, 2020.

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The event attracted a record 107 participants. FM Wanyama Harold was the event favorite among the many who included; olympians Okas Walter, FM Haruna Nsubuga, Okas walter, Mwaka Emmanuel, WFM Namaganda Christine, Nakabo Peninah, WCM Shakira Ampaire and Godfrey Bisereko. Since the event was online, it was an opportunity for  all Ugandans with internet access both within Uganda and in diaspora. Bisereko Godfrey a former olympian, former national champion and holder of 100% record in final phase olympiad qualifiers, is based in the United Kingdom (UK) and Mukumbya Benjamin based in the United States of America represented the persons in the diaspora. The junior players included the twins Wasswa and Kato Nyola, the Mwase brothers Arthur and Mathew, Pido Edwin and Ssenkoole laurrice among others

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The event was played online on the lichess application fromm 9.00am to 6:00pm in the evening. It was a 9 round Swiss open event played using the 15min + 5sec time control. Several chess fans around the world followed the games live as a link was provided through the various UCF social media platforms.

Following the splendid performance of 2019 with 37 international medals, which was the highest medal tally among all federations in Uganda, UCF continues to be the most active National Sports Federation (NF)  with bactk to back online events, despite the closed sports space with curfews and lockdowns caused by the COVID 19 Pandemic in Uganda. The chess sport is leading the way in keeping sports alive in the country and flying the Uganda flag high.

Okas walter the UCF players representative led the technical team that ensured a successful online chess event.

The top sixteen open players and top sixteen U20 boys proceeded to the second phase to play a best of 2 knockout event on Sunday 12th July, 2020. The ladies will play a round robin event format in the second phase.

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It is impossible to hold such a huge online event without encountering challenges. The players encountered challenges including access to internet, costly internet data packages, limited access to smart phones and laptops etc. UCF encountered several disconnections due to poor internet connection of players, engine assisted play and players with limited computer skills.

Several selection criteria were at the disposal of the organizers and UCF chose the online qualifiers to uphold governace principles including; a transparent selection process, equal opportunity to all players within Uganda and in the diaspora, an online form to verify players credentials, use of  lichess platform that has uncheating software to help avoid unethical behavior and to provide much needed orientation to several players in online chess.

 

The online chess Olympiad will be held starting on 22nd July, 2020 and UCF hope to conclude team selection and move to team training process.

 
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