Monday August 11 2014

Men beat Kuwait, women lose

FROM LEFT: Ssonko, Wanyama,  Ssegwanyi and

FROM LEFT: Ssonko, Wanyama, Ssegwanyi and Kawuma take on Kuwait’s Taher, Shehab, Masqeed and Al-Hajiri respectively. PHOTO BY JACINTA ODONGO 

By Jacinta Odongo in Norway

The event, which ends on August 14, has attracted over 2200 players from 170 nations. Armenia and Russia are the defending champion in the open and women sections respectively.

Team Uganda continued its good run in the ongoing 41st World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway after the men’s team beat Kuwait to 2.5-1.5 in the seventh round match on Saturday.

Up against under-rated Shehab Ibrahim on board three, FM Harold Wanyama came firing on all cylinders in an interesting tactical game and an early assault on the black king was enough to take home the full point in what was a one-sided contest.

Olympiad debutant Mathias Ssonko held CM Al-Khatteb Taher to a draw on the first board while Arthur Ssegwanyi scored regulation victory over CM Maqseed Nasser.

“Thanks to this massive victory we have now jumped a few places up,” said Wanyama. “This is only likely to get better as we are all trying to perfect our remaining games.”

However, CM Patrick Kawuma lost 0-1 to Al-Hajiri Bader, to register his first defeat at the tournament.

In the women category, Uganda was crushed 1-3 by Albania after olympiad debutant Christine Namaganda lost 0-1 on board two to Shabanaj Eglantina while Phiona Mutesi and Grace Kigeni were thumped by Shabnaj Alda and Tuzi Bruna on boards three and four respectively.

Unrated Gorretti Angolikin beat WCM Gjergji Rozana 1-0 on board one.
Saturday was also a day-off for veteran player Ivy Amoko and Uganda’s top seed Elijah Emojong.

In earlier rounds, the women won 3-1 against Palestine and Sudan respectively but were held to a 2-2 draw by Netherlands Antilles. However, they lost 1-3 to South Africa, 0-4 to Croatia and 1-3 to Malaysia.

The men’s squad have so far lost to Ireland 1-3, Yemen 1.5-2.5, 0-4 to USA, Faroe Isles 1-3 and defeated US Virgin Isles (3-1) and Ethiopia 4-0. Currently, Azerbaijan is on top of the table in the open section with 11 points while China is leading in women’s wing with 12 points.