Day one leader, Aaron Kanaabi held his nerves to win the National Chess Championship Qualifiers held at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel, Kampala. Aaron has led from the first day finished unbeaten with two draws agiants Jordan Teeba and Rajab Kamoga and registering six victories over Kiwuluka Hassan, Dennis Ruharo, Malcolm Etoru, Richard Buyinza, Benjamin Mukumbya and Mawanda Micheal enroute securing his first major tournament .

“Am overwhelmed to win my first major championship, I will keep training hard to achieve greater success”, a visibly excited but worn out Kanaabi, who also won 100,000/= told Kawowo Sports after the three day 8 round tourney.

Pre-tournament favourite Rajab Kamoga finished in second position with 6.5 points followed by Raphael Buti (6 points), Jordan Teeba (5.5 points), youngsters Benjamin Mukumbya and Richard Buyinza each at 5.5 points. The top six performers qualified to join the rated players in the second and final phase of the National Chess Championship that will commence on 13 April 2013 at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Rubaga.

Daniel Bwanika also finished with 5.5 points but was relegated to seventh position owing to an inferior tie break and therefore narrowly missed out on a chance to join the final phase.

The ladies category was won by Joyce Kabengano with 4 points jointly followed by Stella Babirye and Rosette Namara. Veteran player Namaganda Christine 3.5 points, Cathy Kenyange 3.5 and Olympian Goretti Angolikin was a shadow of herself as she finished with 3.5 points. Like the men, the top six ladies all qualified to join the only three rated lady players Grace Kigeni, Ivy Amoko and Phiona Mutesi in the ladies finals of the National Chess Championship.

The top six men and women will now have a chance to test their prowess against rated opponents in the finals of the National Chess Championship and have a chance of acquiring international rating points in the FIDE rated event slated for April.

The first phase was arbitrated by FIDE Arbiter Christopher Turyahabwe.

Top 6 (Men)

Aaron Kanaabi -7

Rajab Kamoga-6.5

Raphael Buti-6

Jordan Tebba-5.5

Benjamin Mukumbya-5.5

Richard Buyinza-5.5

Top 6(Ladies)

Joyce Kabengano-4

Stella Babirye-4

Rosette Namara-4

Christine Namaganda-3.5

Cathy Kenyange-3.5

Goretti Angolikin-3.5

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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