Fide Master Harold Wanyama’s retirement from competitive Chess came at a wrong time according to Uganda Chess Federation (UCF) president Vianney Luggya.
The former DMARK, Sanlam and Makindye player made his decision to call it quits a week ago shortly after the conclusion of the inaugural Kireka Chess Club Open Chess Championship held at Memorito Hotel, Bweyogerere where he came seventh after his feeble performances that included a surprise loss to lowly rated Joshua Katumba in the third round.
His retirement from the board at 35 years sent shockwaves across the Chess fraternity, and Luggya thinks the timing was wrong.
“It is unfortunate he retired at a time he was nearing the IM [International Master] status,” Luggya who assumed office in 2011 told Kawowo Sports.
“It came at a wrong time because he was this close to attaining a higher title.
“A very talented player, one of the few we believed was destined for the GM title. But well, there’s always an end to everything and it’s his decision. Sometimes certain things take a toll on us. Perhaps he made the right decision,” he added.
2016 will go down as one of Wanyama’s best in his 10-year career. Although it ended on a low note for the FM, the four-time Olympian enjoyed a glitzy year.
Aside from winning the Kawuma Open, gaining the IM norm in Dar es Salaam at the Zone 4.2 Individual Chess Championships and winning the National League with Kireka who had taken ages without tasting league glory, Wanyama ended the 42nd edition of the World Chess Olympiad held at Baku, Azerbaijan as the best African on board two.
With his five victories and a draw against arguably the best deaf Chess players in the world currently, Duilio Collutis from Italy, the 35 year old garnered more points on board two than any African, subsequently finishing above them.
Wanyama who retired with a rating of 2280 also finished above world’s No.3 Hikaru Nakamura on board two with his seventeenth finish.