The first round of the National Chess Championship kicked off in earnest at Hotel Africana this morning (Saturday 5th November 2011) with all the top players winning their games other than Olympian Bob Bibasa who forfeited a point in the first round for late coming.
Defending champion Harold Wanyama made light work of little known Andrew Kalinda as Simon Gonza beat Amos Emojong and National Junior Champion, Haruna Nsubuga beat Phillip Atuhairwe.
The tournament also witnessed the return to action of former Olympian Isaac Munanira who also got a point in the first round against Ivan Sseguya.
A total of nine (9) rounds are to be played in the event that runs on 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th and 20th November 2011. The competition doubles as the first phase of the Olympiad Qualifiers and the winner automatically qualifies to be part of Uganda’s team at the next World Chess Olympiad to be held in Turkey in August 2012.
The top thirty (30) will also proceed to the second phase of the qualifiers to be held early next year.
In the ladies category, Goretti Angolikin beat Stella Babirye as Ivy Amoko won against Deborah Wanja and Phiona Mutesi beat Winnie Okoth. Christine Namaganda beat Victoria Nakirwadde as ex Olympian Grace Kigeni beat Violet Atuhura. The ladies are playing a round robin tournament.The event is registered with FIDE and will therefore be considered for rating purposes.

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