Kawuma Open winners set for zonal

While FM Harold Wanyama and WFM Ivy Amoko were the overall winners in the Open and Ladies categories of the just concluded 2016 Kawuma Open Championship that run over the Easter weekend from 25th to 28th  March 2016, it wasn't a case of winner takes it all.

Besides the cash prizes that the winners walked away with courtesy of sponsors (Prof. Medi Kawuma and family), the respective top five in the Open and Ladies categories earned rights to represent Uganda at the upcoming Zone 4.2 Africa Chess Championship to be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 22nd April to 1st May 2016.

The overall winners FM Harold Wanyama and WFM Ivy Amoko certainly have the lion's share as they would be entitled to free accommodation (full board) courtesy of the hosts throughout the duration of the event. The other four players in each category will have accomodation and upkeep costs to contend with. The official invitation from the hosts indicates the figure as 60 Euros per day covering all the three meals and accomodation.

The other qualified players for the zonal include CM Haruna Nsubuga, IM Arthur Ssegwanyi, FM Patrick Kawuma and CM Bob Bibasa (men). While besides WFM Ivy Amoko, the other ladies include WCM Phiona Mutesi, Joyce Kabengano, WFM Christine Namaganda and WFM Goretti Angolikin.

Ssegwanyi rises to the occasion in Olympiad qualifiers

IM Arthur Ssegwanyi has once again displayed his knack for delivering when it matters most by winning eight straight games in the ongoing third and last phase of the Olympiad Qualifiers being played at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Rubaga. The highest rated East African won his fifth, sixth, seventh and eigth round games against Ntende Edgar, Mwaka Emmanuel, Bob Bibasa and Simon Gonza on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February 2016 to remain unbeaten and stretch the lead to a comfortable 1.5 points. The 11 round event takes a week's break to resume on Saturday 20 and end on Sunday 21 February 2016.

On other boards, the lion in FM Harold Wanyama roared as he also won all the four games he played this weekend against FM Kawuma Patrick, Kato Richard, Farouk Fauza and CM Daniel Baagadde to bounce back from two earlier rounds losses to get to a fairly comfortable third position with 6 points out of a possible 8.
FM Patrick Kawuma is in clear second position with 6.5 points after recovering from the loss to Wanyama to draw with Rajab Kamoga and beat a higher rated Walter Okas and unrated Richard Kato in the last two rounds.
Okas is currently in fourth position with 5.5 points but well in contention for a top five finish after he beat Emma Mwaka in the eight round.
Knocking on the door and looking forward to a maiden Olympiad berth are nearly men; Simon Gonza and Farouk Fauza with each having 4 points but up against stiff competition from the trio of Rajab Kamoga, ex Olympian Emma Mwaka and new kid on the block Edgar Ntende who all have 3 points but could easily gate crash the party and upstage the players on 4 points if they win their last three games. It even becomes more interesting considering that the next three rounds include head to head battles between Ntende and Gonza and Gonza versus Mwaka, which could prove to be decisive in determining the final shape of the national team. This is not to say that the top four in the standings are completely safe. They still need to negotiate results in the last rounds. Ssegwanyi, who has almost certainly qualified for the team with three rounds to spare still has rating points to think about in his last thee games against Wanyama, Kamoga and Kawuma, which makes this FIDE rated event more interesting and poised for a photo finish.
In the ladies category, Goretti Angolikin, Grace Kigeni, Phiona Mutesi, Joyce Kabengano and Christine Namaganda occupy the top five slots but competition is still tight. Angolikin and Kigeni share the lead with 6.5 points, Mutesi has 6, Kabengano 5.5 while Namaganda has 5. Sixth placed Winnie Okoth is on 4.5 points and is seriously knocking on the door while Stella Babirye and Shakira Ampaire also look like they still have a say in this.
The reward for the top five players in both categories is a place on the National Team to represent Uganda at the World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan in September 2016 and in the Africa Individual Chess Championship in Kampala, Uganda in May 2016.

Details of the two events can be accessed at: Open Category and Ladies Category
Ntende leads top 12 to last phase of Olympiad Qualifiers
Sunday, 31 January 2016 22:58

Youthful sensation Edgar Ntende maintained his blistering form in the last two rounds of the Olympiad Qualifiers that ended at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Rubaga on Saturday 30 January 2016 by drawing with Richard Kato and CM Daniel Baagadde in the last two rounds to maintain an unbeaten record and half point lead at the top of the final standings. He finished with 6 points out of a possible 8.

Ntende had earlier on caused a stir in the early rounds by beating FM Harold Wanyama, Farouk Fauza, CM Bob Bibasa and drawing with FM Patrick Kawuma and a highly rated Walter Okas, which results helped him to consistently lead the event from beginning to end. The reward for him is a much coveted place in the last and final phase of the Olympiad and Africa Individual Qualifiers. The top 12 from this event will engage each other in a round robin commencing on 6 February 2016 to determine the top 5 to form the national team.
Walter Okas was the other outstanding performer in the second phase and finished in second position unbeaten with 5.5 points. He tied at the same number of points with Olympian Kawuma, Richard Kato (another youngster who impressed by punching above his weight) and Dan Baagadde.

The other players who made it to the last phase include Wanyama, Kamoga Rajab, IM Arthur Ssegwanyi (who had to dig deep to recover from a slow start), Farouk Fauza, Emmanuel Mwaka, Simon Gonza and Bob Bibasa. Notable absentees out of the top 12 include ex Olympians Mathias Ssonko, Shadrack Kantinti and perennial contender CM Haruna

Nsubuga who finished with 4, 4 and 3.5 points respectively. Such was the intensity and strength of the play over the grueling 8 rounds that players of such calibre couldn't score more than 50 percent.
Solomon Lubega and Benjamin Mukumbya also failed to make the grade. Mukumbya had earlier on shown flashes of brilliance by drawing with Ssegwanyi and beating Haruna Nsubuga among others only to crumple under unfamiliar pressure in the last two rounds against seemingly manageable opponents.

The pairing for the round robin (last phase) for men and ladies is already out and can be accessed on the link http://www.chess-results.com/tnr205845.aspx?lan=1&art=2&wi=821 And for ladies on http://www.chess-results.com/tnr205846.aspx?lan=1&art=2&wi=821
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