With the Zone 4.2 African Individual Chess Championships two days away from commencing, Ugandan chess icon Harold Wanyama has shared his thoughts on the competition.
Wanyama is no stranger to the event. The retired Fide Master [FM] took part in the 2015 edition that we hosted here in Kampala, and was part of the team that represented the country last year in Tanzania where he came third, and got rewarded with an International Master [IM] norm.
With the 2017 edition nearing its start, Wanyama has singled out FM Patrick Kawuma and Woman Fide Master [WFM] Ivy Clare Amoko to challenge the Egyptians for the titles in their respective categories.
“The chances of the Egyptians winning are 90%, but of the Ugandans going, Patrick [Kawuma] can get it and of course Ivy [Amoko]. She has the best chance amongst everyone both boys and girls.”
Three days ago, Kawowo Sports interviewed Amoko. The No.1 chess lady in East Africa appeared undaunted, and made her intentions of attaining the Woman International Master [WIM] clear which Wanyama believes is a good sign.
“It is good she is confident. My only worry was that she wouldn’t be. I have told her she can win this; it is just that she hasn’t had much of a chance to play in it but she can compete equally with the Egyptians.”
For FM Haruna Nsubuga, Wanyama believes the inaugural winner of the Equity Open can stage a good show, but winning it will be a big ask.
“Haruna [Nsubuga] isn’t a finished product. He can do well but not to win. His experience though might help him. He has played the most number of Zonals of any Ugandan, that’s great experience.”
Uganda will be represented by six players including three in the Open section and as many in the Women’s. The team travels on Saturday at 3am aboard Ethiopian Airways.