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Olympiad Ends on a High PDF 
By Joseph Kaamu
And so it came to pass. On the final day, all teams made a last fling to improve their standings. Uganda felt that we had made our move rather late with some unnecessary draws or losses in the ninth and tenth round. But just as well. Harold Wanyama whose star has shone and faded in equal measure got off on the wrong foot by having a piece gobbled early; he resigned. Shadrack Kantinti showed how things should be done and crushed his opponent. While that was going on, Patrick Kawuma set a clever trap that the Ethiopian fell for and Pat was a piece up. The rest as they say was pure technique. That was 2-1. And sibling Steven saw that by drawing we had already sewn up the match so he saved his energy for the next Olympiad in Istanbul in 2012 ! Three one was sweet revenge on the Abyssinians as they had humiliated us some years back.
So the table in the end showed Ukraine, Russia1, Israel, Hungary and China in that order. For the fairer sex, Russia, China, Georgia, Cuba and USA were 1-5.

The table looks quite different from position 100 to 149. From midway through the Olympiad Uganda simply struggled to go below table 50 (i.e punch above our weight!), which if we did would propel us to finish in the top 100. This  enviable feat was only achieved by 5 African countries namely: Egypt 41st, Zambia 47th, South Africa 74th and Libya 78th and Algeria 89th.  In terms of performance, Uganda that was initially ranked 127th globally came out in 7th position out of 26 African Countries and 106th overall, we remained about the same as two years ago.

Below is part of the results showing Uganda and other countries.

See you then when we leave a Siberia that is rapidly beginning to snow.

Comments by Kawuma Moses
Patrick Kawuma was our shining light at the just concluded World Chess Olympiad. He was our best chess player.

The Ugandan team performed well below expectations but Patrick played really well, considering it was his first Chess Olympiad and he just missed out on a Fide Master title by 1 point. Patrick ended the tournament with 6.5/10. He won 6 games, drew 1 and lost 3. Had he got 7.5/10, he would have become an FM.

 
Kantinti ponders early retirement after forgettable Olympiad display PDF 

By Luggya Vianney

Uganda’s most celebrated Olympian Shaddrack Kantinti has hinted on retiring from active chess. The shocking revelation comes on the heels of a lackluster showing at the just ended 39th World Chess Olympiad in Khanty Mansiysk Russia.

Kantinti revealed this before the penultimate round of the Olympiad to the surprise of many. The usually ruthless tactician was a shadow of his former self through out this Olympiad, failing to convert even the most basic of wins after securing an overwhelming advantage with a queen for a minor piece but ended up drawing against a little known opponent from Sao Tome and Principe!! Kantinti played a total of 8 games but scored a dismal 2.5 points ending as the worst Ugandan performer with a 31.2% score. This is what his fans feel could have precipitated this rather premature retirement announcement.

Kantinti, 33 has played in every single Olympiad since the year 2000 setting an unprecedented Ugandan record of appearing at 5 consecutive Olympiads. He has a collection of silverware won from numerous local, national and regional championships.

He started out as gifted youngster from Nsambya, a Kampala surburb. It was not long before he made his mark on the national scene. Once he got there, he became an established member of the chess playing elite.

It was not clear whether his announcement meant totally quitting chess or simply keeping away from World Olympiads. It is most likely that the Uganda Chess Federation would not take this lightly as they would certainly be better off with his wealth of experience and sobriety. As a trainer or Coach, Kantinti would be a valuable asset of UCF whose skill resource base is so limited.

He will always be remembered in the chess fraternity as a fearless warrior who often attacked opponents with ruthless but reckless abandon and sacrificed pieces out of the blue, leading to complicated variations that are simply out of this world. He turned out victorious on most occasions.

From a neutral’s perspective, one would say that his only weakness has been an apparent lack of adequate conceptualization of opening theory. Once out of the established opening schemes, his opponents would have to contend with his energy, talent and natural ability to calculate original and precise moves. This quality is simply un-matched (locally) but may be compared to that of renowned players such as Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich of Russia.

His love for the game of chess and its promotion is unprecedented. At the 38th Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany (2008), the bulk of Uganda’s chess team was denied visas to EU until midway through the Olympiad. At the time, Uganda had only two representatives who had successfully made it in time and these were UK based FMs Steven and Moses Kawuma. The two had been featuring for Uganda’s team on boards three and four, respectively for the first 8 rounds, leaving boards one and two without any players.

When the Germany embassy in Uganda finally succumbed to pressure from all corners after relentless player appeals to the Olympiad organizers, they eventually issued visas to the rest of the local contingent. However, because it was too late with several games already played, most players gave up on the costly travel but not Kantinti who flew to Germany in time for the last three rounds. Much to their delight and astonishment, Moses and Steven were shocked on entering the playing hall to find Kantinti seated on board one of the Ugandan corner with a body language exhuming readiness for battle. After exchanging pleasantries and hugs, the trio didn’t have time to go through the reasons as to how the rest of the team had failed to make it before going straight to business and running over their unsuspecting Chinese Taipei opponents 3-1. Inspired by the arrival of Kantinti, Uganda went on to white-wash their next two opponents Madagascar and Liechtenstein by the same margin as if trying to compensate earlier round pitfalls to conclude the 2008 Olympiad in style.

As if the on-board exploits in Dresden were not enough, Kantinti bumped into Sierra Leone chess officials who were stuck with a consignment of chess equipment that they were about to abandon because they could not easily transport it to their country due to flight baggage limitations. Being the chess lover that he is, Kantinti struck a sudden deal with them, paid for the equipment out of his own pockets and flew with it to Kampala, handing it to the Uganda Chess Federation, intact. How many individuals are capable of such a noble feat!

If Kantinti were to live up to his word and retire at that age, he would join lesser accomplished talents in the likes of former Olympians Andrew Naimanye, Geoffrey Makumbi, Dr. Umar Kakumba, Steven Opio, Godfrey Bisereko and Stephen Kisuze, who hardly feature anymore. Other formerly promising talents in limbo (under-achievers) that would view Kantinti’s impending retirement as long overdue include Ivan Katamba, Kenneth Kaheru, Raphael Buti, Godfrey Luberenga, George W. Ssenyomo and Pius Mwinganisa (quite debatable whether he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath).

 
Sri-Lankan Boys too good for Uganda PDF 
By Joseph Kaamu and Stephen Kisuze
Yesterday, Friday 1st October  saw the first time that flakes of snow started falling and we realised we were actually in Siberia !
And the 10th Round chess proceedings for Uganda were not too different from the weather.  For our team wins, good moves and the joy of winning have become a rare happening like the sun  in these parts, a sad way to end the tournament.
First Harold Wanyama Wanyama Haroldgot a good position see below that he blew away after his opponent played 46. ... Ke6, with enough time on the clock he simply blundered with 47. c5?.
He later agreed to a draw, knowing that in the past he has had the tendency to self-destruct. Patrick Kawuma on board 2 got into a rotten position being the exchange and pawn down. The end was going to be one way. Brother Steven was even and at one time looked to have winning ambitions. Alas, he extended himself and came down crashing ! It was left to Bob Bibasa to restore some (wounded) pride and he duly drew. So 1-3, and one 11th round to go. They take on Ethiopia, who I pray will not be as determined as their long-distance runners. The men are currently 119 out of 147. At the top, Ukraine meet France, China play Russia 1, and the US entertain Israel.
The girls also stumbled 1.5-2.5 against an island more known for their fast bowlers than chess players. Ivy Amoko lost on board 1. Grace Kigeni drew, Phiona Mutesi lost due to inexperience, but Joanita Butindo beat her opponent. They are 108 out of 115. They play fellow Africans Mozambique.
Today Saturday is a rest day. The last round is played tomorrow morning and closing ceremony is for the afternoon.

Uganda concludes their meagre exploits with relatively weaker African opposition  in Ethiopia and Mozambique for the men and women's teams respectively. A win in these two matches will largely be for pride given that we are no where near the prize bracket. Monday morning we depart for Dubai and Nairobi and we should hit Entebbe on Tuesday morning, inshallah.

On a different note Africa Chess Union (Soon to be FIDE Africa) elected a new President - Mazouz Lahkdar. Elections for other positions in the FIDE Africa board were yet to be carried out at the time of this posting.

Uganda Chess Federation Chairman Joseph Kaamu and his Vice  Stephen Kisuze in an authoritatvice pose with newly elected  FIDE Africa President Mazouz Lahkdar from Algeria.

 
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