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Amoko leads women’s team to chess Olympiad

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Christine Namaganda (L) moves her bishop in the game against Grace Kigeni (R). The latter won the tie. Photo by JB SSENKUBUGE. 

By JACINTA ODONGO

Posted  Tuesday, April 1  2014 at  20:56
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KAMPALA.
The Uganda Chess Federation (UCF) has picked a strong team of five to represent the country in the women’s category at the 2014 World Chess Olympiad due August 1-15 in Tromso, Norway.

Leading the squad is Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Ivy Amoko, who won the qualifier with 11 points out of a possible 12, followed by former national champion Grace Kigeni with 10 points and rookie Christine Namaganda with 9.5.

Olympiad Gorretti Angolikin and WCM Phiona Mutesi, on the other hand, finished fourth and fifth respectively with nine points apiece.
The five ladies were selected after a two-day selection tournament that took place at Pope Paul Memorial in Rubaga, which was also used to determine the women’s national champion for 2014.

“I expected this win,” said an excited Amoko after the selection.
“I played each of my games like it was my last because my opponents were very skilled. I was very serious. This is now motivation for me to train harder as I target a Woman Fide Master title at the Olympiad.”
Amoko is also the highest rated female player in the country with an international rating of 1,795 points.

Joyce Kabengano, Robina Namwanje, Stella Babirye, Joan Nakimuli and Shakira Ampeirwe narrowly missed the national team cut.
“They deserved their places,” dropped Kabengano told Daily Monitor with a disappointed look. “It is sad that I did not make it but there is always a next time and am hopeful to return better scores.”

Meanwhile, the men’s team will be selected on May 4 after playing their final phase of the qualifiers in which the top 12 will slug it out for 4 slots to join IM Elijah Emojong.

HOW THEY FINISHED
Ivy Amoko 11 points
Grace Kigeni 10
Christine Namaganda 9.5
Goretti Angolikin 9
Phiona Mutesi 9