The first round is usually the toughest for developing countries at any World Chess Olympiad and indeed there were no surprises at the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway as Uganda’s male team fell at the hands of much fancied USA 4-0 as did the ladies to Croatia by the same margin on Saturday 2 August, 2014.
The star studded US side has only Grandmasters. The boys played well but could not match the experience and skill of the US team. IM Elijah Emojong fell at the hands of GM Gata Kamsky (rated 2706), CM Patrick Kawuma had the longest lasting game but was finally outwitted by GM Onischuk Alexander (rated 2659), FM Harold Wanyama battled but couldn’t do much against GM Akobian Varhuzan (2653) as Mathias Ssonko who is making his Olympiad debut had a baptism of fire at the hands of GM Samuel Shankland (2624).
Against Croatia, Goretti Angolikin lost to WGM Golubenko Valentina, Christine Namaganda lost to WIM Franciskovik Borka, Ivy Amoko lost to WIM Jerica Mara as did Grace Kigeni to WFM Deur Saric Zrinka.
Uganda now looks forward to a more favourable pairing in the second round to be played on Sunday 3 August 2014.
The first round is always tough and the best result in such a round for Uganda has been losing 1-3 as was the case in Istanbul, Turkey in 2012 when Emojong upset a Grandmaster.