(Press release courtesy of Uganda Chess Federation)
Ex Olympian Bob Bibasa was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Uganda Chess Federation Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel on Saturday 18th February 2012 after he made a passionate apology that moved the Assembly and his ban from the Olympiad qualifiers was lifted subject to submission of a written apology.
The ban from the Olympiad qualifiers had come as a result of Bibasa’s violation of tournament regulations in the National Chess Championship which also doubled as the first phase of the Olympiad qualifiers in November 2011. While playing a very important and decisive FIDE rated game on board two (which had a bearing on determining the tournament winner), Bibasa was at the same time found guilty of moving out of the designated playing area and concurrently playing a Blitz game, an act that was tantamount to cheating.
As a result of the above, the Tournament Arbiter and Disciplinary Committee Chairman disqualified him from the event, and this having been the first of three Olympiad qualifying events meant eventual disqualification from the rest of the qualifying games and therefore he was out of the running for a slot on the Olympiad team.
Bibasa’s action, coming from a senior and experienced player of his calibre did not portray a good example to the younger players.
However, the passionate apology made by the player at the Annual General Meeting before all key stakeholders in the game showed that he had learnt from his mistake and was ready to reform.
He will now be eligible to participate in the last two phases of the Olympiad Qualifiers due to be held in March and April 2012. The 40th World Chess Olympiad will be held in Istanbul, Turkey from 27th August to 10th September 2012.