Nsubuga in tight spot over Chess World Cup

Nsubuga is still moving aces amid cash crisis. PHOTO/GEORGE KATONGOLE 

What you need to know:

The 2023 World Cup in Baku will be the third time a Ugandan takes part. Previously, IM Arthur Ssegwanyi represented Uganda at the 2015 and 2021 editions. It will be FM Haruna Nsubuga’s first time to play in a World Cup.

Fide Master Haruna Nsubuga, the only Ugandan, who will represent the country at the forthcoming chess World Cup in Azerbaijan capital, Baku is filled with mixed emotions. The tournament will be held in Baku from July 29 to August 26, 2023.

Nsubuga, who won the ticket to the finals after scoring 6.5 points ahead of the 2022 Uganda Olympiad team members in a five-player double round-robin event in January, said it was a great opportunity to represent Uganda at the 10th World Cup yet he finds himself in a spot of bother.

The African amateur champion was ahead of Harold Wanyama, Patrick Kawuma, Emmanuel Egesa and Walter Okas in the qualifiers held at Gloria Gardens in Namugongo seeking funds to make the dream come true.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to explore my potential. I have not been to such a level before and I hope to return victorious," Nsubuga said.

He earned the wildcard extended to 100 top-ranked countries at the 2022 Chess Olympiad where Uganda finished 83rd. Other African nations that won an Olympiad slot for the 2023 World Cup include Egypt, Tunisia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Madagascar, Libya, South Sudan, Nigeria and Botswana.

Nsubuga will be the second Ugandan, after International Master Arthur Ssegwanyi, to represent Uganda at the World Cup. Ssegwanyi was at the 2015 and 2021 editions in Azerbaijan and Russia, respectively.

Tough place

Despite the joy, Nsubuga, 31, a Kireka-based businessman, who heavily relies on contributions from his family, faces an uphill task to take part in the sport's most prestigious tournaments.

Nsubuga needs Shs37m (about $10,000) to travel to Baku for the week-long event.

"Expenses involved are huge. I have never been to this stage but I need to make my presence felt. It can only be possible when I make it to the event. We still have time but this is an opportunity by corporate companies to give us a hand," Nsubuga said in an interview.

In terms of preparation, he will take part in the Kenya Open over the Easter Weekend, where he hopes to test among more than 10 grand masters.

About Chess World Cup

Dates: Jul 29-Aug 26, 2023

Place: Baku, Azerbaijan

Prize purse: $2m


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