KAMPALA. 12-year-old Maria Nakanyike couldn’t have asked for a better start to her 2019. The youngster scooped silver in the just concluded African Junior Chess Championship that was played at J & M Hotel in Bwebajja along Entebbe Road.
This is the second continental silverware the youngster is winning after the Africa Schools Individual Championship in Zimbabwe in 2017.
Nakanyike completed the tournament with seven points after nine rounds gaining 93 FIDE points which raised her global rating and earning her the Woman FIDE Master (WFM) title.
She becomes the second Ugandan female chess player and youngest to earn the title in less than six months after Gloria Nansubuga who got hers’ after her putting up an A class show during the 2018 World Chess Olympiad in Batumi Georgia.
Nakanyike also became a nominee for the Woman International Master (WIM norm) title. Meaning she only needs two more continental silverwares to become a full and first ever WIM in Uganda.
Her second position also guaranteed her qualification for the 2019 World Junior Chess Championship in India.
“This is a big achievement for me and the team. I am going to work hard to see that I become a Woman International Master by the end of the year,” said Nakanyike.
However, she was not the only one who upgraded her rating. Egypt’s Fawzy Adham completed his norm requirements to become a full Grand Master – the first one Egypt has had in over 13 years after Bassem Amin got his in 2006.
Things didn’t go according to plan for the national open team that participated in the African Juniors.
Richard Kato fought back in the last three rounds to complete the tournament in seventh position, while Abel Matovu who had an impressive start slipped further to the eighth position after losing his last three rounds.