The name Ivy Amoko rings a bell for many a Chess following family world over.

At first sight, the humble face is a complete reciprocal of the ‘tough’ opposition she is on the chess board.

At the close of the 41st World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway she was elevated to Woman Fide Master after years of successful progression trend as a chess player.

By the title, Amoko made history as the first woman to become a Fide Master (FM) not only in Uganda but also the entire East African region.

At the Olympiad, Amoko, was the most consistent female chess player for team Uganda winning six out of her nine games thus enabling her land her new status in the game of chess.

As I played, I only target registering victories, It never crossed my mind I would land the Fide Master title. Upon being announced, I felt honored

Late Card:

Although Amoko started playing chess at during her first year education while at Makerere University, you may be provoked to think, she has played the game since childhood.

I started to play chess after quitting volleyball in my first at Makerere University while playing for my Africa hall of residence in the Inter-Halls’ competitions

The law graduate says.

Today, now the 1753 world’s rated chess player Amoko, who works with Mukuve law firm boasts of several accolades including her maiden  Rwabushenyi memorial chess ladies’ title  (in 2014) that she captured from Phiona Mutesi after winning all her tournament 8 games unbeaten.

She however lost the title to the 13 year old new kid on the block, Gloria Nansubuga in 2015.


For every successful story script, there has got to be a beginning.

Amoko owes her successful journey in the mind’s game to the inspiration from her university chess captain – Martin Ssali.

 If it wasn’t Martin (Ssali), my former Captain at the University who encouraged me to train daily, I would not be the chess player I am today

she adds with a smile.

Fide Master Class:

At the moment, Amoko is the only woman chess player in Uganda at the level of FIDE Master (FM) and just two steps below the most respectable and highest level – Master.

Amoko became the Uganda’s 8th FIDE Master in addition to FMs Harold Wanyama, Andrew Naimanye, Stephen Kisuze, Arthur Ssegwanyi, Moses Kawuma , Harunah Nsubuga and Stephen Kawuma.

The other titled Ugandan players include IM Elijah Emojong (the only IM in East Africa), CM Patrick Kawuma and CM Bob Bibasa.

The titled lady is Woman Candidate Master (WFM)  Phiona Mutesi.

The highest rated level of  chess is that of the Grand Master (GM).

Amoko Profile:

Full Names: Ivy Claire Amoko

Date of Birth: 3rd May 1987

Parents: Idule Amoko and Justice Stella Arach Amoko

Education: Shimoni Demostration School, St Joseph’s Nsambya (O-level), Nabisunsa Girls (A-level), Makerere University (Bachelor of Laws)

Occupation: Law Clerk with Mukuve Law Firm, Kampala

Chess Debut: 2007

Honours: Winner 2014 Rwabushenyi Memorial (ladies rated), Participated in 2010 Olympiad in Russia, World University Games, China in 2011, Double Gold Winner at 2008 East African University Games (with Makerere University at Namboole), 2009 Gold Winner in Inter-University Games with Makerere (In Nkumba University), 2007 Silver (UCU Games), Silver (2011 Ndejje Games), 2010 Silver in the East African Games in Kenyatta University in Nairobi.

Best Dish: Posho and Beans

Best Drink: Passion Fruit Juice

On Face Book: Yes [Ivy Amoko]

On Twitter: No

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

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