Fide Master Harold Wanyama paid tribute to his mother after being voted the Best Chess Player of the Year 2016 on Monday by the Uganda Sports Press Association [USPA].
The 35 year old enjoyed a meritorious season last year, with his commendable performances at the 42nd edition of the World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan in September among the highlights of the year.
“I feel so great,” said Wanyama after being named the best. “I want to honour my mum though for supporting me from the start to the end of my career. She has been so understanding and supportive.”
The No.5 seed in the country retired from competitive chess last year in December after what will go down as one of his best years in his career.
His retirement came as a shock to the chess fraternity considering his stellar displays in 2016, but while many didn’t welcome the news; his mum was exultant.
He said: “She was so happy. She wants me to settle down with a wife. Maybe she thought Chess took that away.”
Aside from his A1 displays in Baku, the rated 2267 kick started 2016 with triumph at Kawuma Open in March. He won the event ahead of International Masters Arthur Ssegwanyi and Elijah Emojong and fellow FM Patrick Kawuma.
In May at the Zone 4.2 Individual Chess Championship in Dar es Salaam, Wanyama earned his IM norm after collecting six points to finish third behind pre-tournament favourites Sobr Amrou and Kandil Adham the eventual winner.
He was joint top with Emojong at the Mombasa Open in November after both attaining 6.5 points.
In the domestic league, the four time Olympian won the league with Kireka to end DMARK’s dominance.