(Press release courtesy of Uganda Chess Federation)
Makerere University’s Arthur Ssegwanyi put up a splendid display to overcome Michael Mawanda and Mathias Ssonko in the ninth and tenth rounds to win the 2011 National Chess Championship with 9 points out of 10 at Hotel Africana on Sunday 20th November 2011.
For his efforts, Ssegwanyi, a fourth year Bachelor of Pharmacy student walked off with a prestigious trophy, the first for him in an illustrious chess career that has seen him consistently finish among the top ten in the last three years.
He now becomes the first player to qualify for Uganda’s national chess team, which will represent the country at the World Chess Olympiad to be held in Turkey in August 2012.
Ssegwanyi tied on the same number of points (9) with National Junior Chess Champion, Haruna Nsubuga with whom he had earlier on drawn in the seventh round. Nsubuga, who is just clocking 20 years of age also deserves credit for the manner in which he calmly and expertly disposed off more experienced opponents with composure. He is certainly talented and has a great future ahead of him.
To win the event, Ssegwanyi deservedly beat Ezekiel Kiggundu, James Nkemba, Harold Wanyama, Simon Gonza, FM Elijah Emojong, Farouk Fauza, Mawanda and Ssonko. He didn’t lose a single game and only registered two draws against Daniel Bagadde and Nsubuga.
On his part, Nsubuga who was also unbeaten in the event, beat Atuhairwe Phillip, Michael Mawanda, Joseph Kaamu, Samuel Musagga, Emmanuel Mwaka, Farouk Fauza, David Muwanguzi and Bob Bibasa. He drew with Rajab Kamoga and Ssegwanyi.
Nsubuga was only beaten to the top spot by Ssegwanyi because one of his wins (against Bibasa) was by default (forfeit). Chief Arbiter FA Stephen Kisuze disqualified Bibasa from the event for indiscipline following failure to observe basic FIDE tournament regulations.
Defending champion, Harold Wanyama had a bad tournament and finished in a miserable 21st position. FM Elijah Emojong also had a dismal performance.
The top thirty in the Men’s category progress to the next (second phase) of the Olympiad qualifiers in which they will compete alongside other internationally rated players who may not have participated in this event. They will be competing in a battle for the other four slots on the National team to raise a full team of five.
The ladies category was won by former Olympian Grace Kigeni who also becomes the first lady to qualify for the Olympiad team, leaving only four other team slots to be battled for. A full ladies team has five players.
Top 20 Standings in Open Category [Final]
- Haruna Nsubuga – 9 points (out of 10)
- Arthur Ssegwanyi – 9 points
- Michael Mawanda – 7 points
- Mathias Ssonko – 7 points
- Emmanuel Mwaka – 7 points
- Rajab Kamoga – 7 points
- Bob Bibasa – 6.5 points
- Raphael Buti – 6.5 points
- Daniel Baggadde – 6.5 points
- Simon Gonza – 6 points
- David Muwanguzi – 6 points
- Amos Emojong – 6 points
- Frobisha Katula – 6 points
- Patrick Ojok – 6 points
- Fauza Farouk – 5.5 points
- Samuel Musaga – 5.5 points
- Mike Akabo – 5.5 points
- Festo Owiny – 5.5 points
- Brian Mugabi – 5.5 points
- Richard Tugume – 5.5 points