Candidate Master Patrick Kawuma is now almost certain of making it to Uganda’s Olympiad bound team for the third time, after notching a 5.5 points lead out of a possible eight in the Qualifiers held at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Rubaga at the weekend.
The four day event, which kicked off on Thursday, got underway with unexpected upsets forcing the event’s leader to lose 2.5 points at that early stage of the competition.
“The games were like chess war over the board,” said Kawuma after his victory. “Everybody was tough because we all want to make the team yet there are only four slots. But I am confident of success.”
Kawuma beat Mathias Ssonko, Farouk Fauza, Grace Nsubuga, Shadrack Kantitinti in earlier before losing to FM Harold Wanyama in the third round. He drew with Arthur Ssegwanyi and little known Frobisha Kadula and Raphael Buti in other games.
Following closely are FM Harold Wanyama, Haruna Nsubuga and Raphael Buti at five points apiece. Perennial contender, Ssegwanyi who recently won the East African chess Cup in Kenya is struggling to get on top of the table following his defeats in four of his games to settle fifth at 4.5 points.
At least every player lost a game though, Buti continued to excel to garner five points. He still has a date against Mathias Ssonko to be played on Wednesday this week prior to the ninth round due of Saturday.
Wanyama, on the other hand, had to grit his teeth to get to five points after a slow start in which forced him to fight back from two early losses.