Mugide is Queen after Women’s Day triumph

Safinah Mugide poses with her trophy and medal after winning the Queens of Chess tournament on Women's Day. PHOTO/GEORGE KATONGOLE 

What you need to know:

The 26-year-old, who has played chess for the last six years, sanctified her position in the fraternity by beating top-ranked players to win on a tie-break.

After a stellar performance in the Queens of Chess rapid tournament on Women's Day, Safinah Mugide announced her arrival in the golden class with a victory.

The 26-year-old, who has played chess for the last six years, sanctified her position in the fraternity by beating top-ranked players to win on a tie-break.

"This was a very sweet victory," Mugide, who was smiling throughout the awards ceremony, said.

"It is my first win in six years. It means a lot after six years of playing, training and trying. It has been a long wait for me. I have won team events most of the time but the individual gold has eluded me," said Mugide, who won silver at the amateur championship held in Mombasa in December last year.

The rapid tournament held at Gloria Gardens Namugongo saw Mugide lose once to Women Fide Master Christine Namaganda in the eighth round. But she had neatly dealt with Tracy Mirembe, Michelle Hailey, Sheba Naisanga, Joyce Kabengano, top seed Peninah Nakabo, Milly Takali and Gloria Nansubuga in the earlier rounds.

With the top three tying on seven points, the 2021 Makerere University Sportswoman of the year, was announced winner on tiebreak ahead of Nansubuga and defending champion Namaganda.

She is now focused on the Kenya Open in Nairobi in preparation for the Zone IV championship in May.

The lucrative Kenya Open, where the winner will take home a Shs33m cash prize, will be held at the Sarit Expo Centre in Nairobi from April 5-11, 2023.

“I am going to Kenya with an aim of winning and prepare myself for the Zonals in May,” Mugide, who is rated 15th in the classic and sixth in the rapid category, said.

Banking on the young

The tournament, which was celebrating the second year, was sponsored by Finance Trust Bank, an institution that puts women first. It awarded junior players with piggy banks while contributing the cash prize for the winners.

Joanne Katushabe, the bank’s marketing manager, said she was impressed especially with young people who were competing.

“It gives us joy as a bank to see players start early. We would like to be part of their journey to stardom by also ensuring they benefit from our tailor-made services such as the Youth Progress Account where one can save even Shs1,000,” Katushabe said.

Suhana Anil Yadav of Shree Sahajanand School was the U-10 winner while Ruth Thelma Muganzi was the U15 champion. Joyce Meeme scooped the U15 honours ahead of Faridah Nabukeera and Martha Kanyonyozi.

Chief organiser Peninah Nakabo hailed the turn-up. 81 players attended the one-day event.

Queens of Chess tournament


Open category

Safinah Mugide – 7pts

Gloria Nansubuga – 7pts

Christine Namaganda – 7pts


Joyce Meeme – 5

Faridah Nabukeera – 5

Martha Kanyonyozi – 5


Ruth Thelma Muganzi – 5

Elizabeth Saasi – 5

Nyatia Aimee – 4½


Suhana Anil Yadav – 5

Talia Atubet – 4

Aine Atubet  - 3½


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