Late last month he was close to winning the East African Chess Cup in Kenya, but he came in second place. Now, Elijah Emojong, who already has the title of International Master (IM) and who has previously been close to scoring the first of the three norms required to be awarded the Grandmaster (GM) title, has finally succeeded in getting his first GM norm.
Emojong acquired the norm at the 2014 Capablanca Open Chess GM Festival in Pretoria, South Africa, in which 11 chess players from six nations participated.
Despite finishing seventh at the event, the IM is now a key step closer to securing the title of Grandmaster, which is the highest title that a chess player can attain aside from World Champion.
He secured the GM norm after completing nine rounds, during which he acquired 4.5 points out of a possible nine based on swiss system format.
Emojong started the event on a high note after outwitting Russian Fide Master Van Der Nat Nicholas (2366) in the first round but lost to IM Solomon Kenny (2353) form South Africa, Zambian CM Andrew Kayonde (2280) and South African IM Kobese Watu (2333) in other rounds.
He also drew with Bulgarian Grand Masters (GM) Antic Dejan (2474), Strikovic Aleksa (2533), Kasparov Sergey (2480) from Serbia, Zimbabwe’s IM Makoto Rodwell (2271) and GM Murshed Niaz (2464) in other games.
He was ranked second on the list of players before the tournament began. His participation is a landmark achievement in Ugandan chess history, since Emojong is the first Ugandan to score a GM norm.
The event was won by IM Kenny after finishing at 5.5 points.