Chess stars Ssegwanyi, Nakabo shine at UCF open

Tuesday May 29 2018

Arthur Ssegwanyi

Arthur Ssegwanyi analysing his next move during the UCF open at Liquid Silk on Sunday. Photo by Collins Muhwezi 


Rapid open
Arthur Ssegwanyi – Shs750,000
Peninah Nakabo (Ladies) - Shs500,000
Blitz series
Harold Wanyama – 750,000

KAMPALA. Chess stars Arthur Ssegwanyi and Peninah Nakabo once again proved that they are not Uganda’s top seeds by mistake.

The dual dominated proceedings at the Uganda Chess Federation pre-league open at Liquid Silk on Sunday.

The tournament attracted players from Kenya, South Sudan and DR Congo but the talking point was the presence of former English champion Grand master Nigel Short.

Short was the first English man to play in a chess world championship and is remembered for the 1993 world championship in London when he played against Gary Kasparov. Though he lost both rounds, he gave the all-time run for his money.

Turning back to the open, Arthur was the player to beat in the rapid series ending with a 7.5/8 lead ahead of Okas Walter with 7. And he scooped the Shs750,000 cash prize.

When it came to the Blitz open where it’s all about speed and utilising the most efficient route to a better playable position, Harold Wanyama of Kireka chess club was the heavy weight. He defeated his close challenger Walter Okas in one of the tense games of the Sunday evening.
The open also provided a chance for youngsters to showcase their talents in both the rapid and blitz series.

“The future of chess is bright because we have very many children playing chess,” said Mwaka Emmanuel the president of UCF.
Playing against Grand Master Nigel Short

Chances of playing against a grand master rarely come around and when they do, you have to put up your game.
With Shs500,000 up for grabs to however manages to beat him, Uganda’s top players including former champion Bob Ibasa, the only Ugandan to get a draw against him in 2010, were eager to give it a shot. However, none of them could even manage a draw.

After losing to the maestro, Mr Ssegwanyi said, “I am at a level where I can create chances against grand masters, so what I need to do is learn how to seize them.”