It was a mixed start for Ugandans at the ongoing Zone 4.2 African Individual Chess Championships in Ethiopia as Fide Masters Patrick Kawuma and Haruna Nsubuga posted two victories in as many rounds, while the rest of the players endured difficult starts.
Kawuma outsmarted Kenyan Sumit Deshpande in the opening round before handing Sang Ricky, another Kenyan his second defeat in the competition, while Nsubuga saw off Ahmed Abdi and Yirga Nigussie in his first two rounds.
Joshua Katumba beat Teshome Bekele in the first round, but was handed a strong opponent in the second round, Peter Giltruth, Kenya’s No.1 seed who proved a hard nut to crack and the Ugandan lost the round.
Heading into the 3rd round, Kawuma who initially was to face a lowly rated player in Ethiopia’s Abel Mathewos Tilahum in the first round, but got handed a somewhat strong opponent leads the table on a tie-break. He faces Ethiopia’s Candidate Master Fekadu Desalegn rated 2122 in the round.
Nsubuga has the competition’s second ranked player Egypt’s International Master Amier Moheb to contend with in the 3rd round, while Katumba comes head to head with Mohammed Abasimel hoping to bounce back.
In the Women’s section, Woman Fide Master [WFM] Ivy Clare Amoko drew against her fellow Ugandan Shakira Ampaire in the first round, but out-thought Beyene Teklu Masho in the subsequent round as she kept her hopes for glory alive.
Ampaire followed her draw with another stalemate as she drew with Gloria Jumba, while Penninah Esther Nannozi lost both her games.
Amoko, 3rd on the table faces Kenya’s WFM Deshpande Sanjana Satish in the 3rd round, while Ampaire meets Figaro Dericka and Nannozi takes on Jumba.
Egyptian Woman International Master [WIM] Wafa Shahenda leads the category with 2points. She faces her teammate Elansary Eman on board one in the 3rd round.
A win for Amoko and draw on board one will see the Ugandan level points with the two Egyptians.