It is generally accepted that in the East African region, Fide Master Harold Wanyama is a maven in blitz chess. The 35-year-old has a knack in fast chess and his deftness has many a time left his fans and fellow players awed.
At the African Individual Chess Championships held here in Kampala last year, Wanyama almost scooped a prize in the Open Blitz, but missed the reward by a whisker after he forgot to time eventually losing a game he was winning to Egyptian Grandmaster Samy Shoker in the eighth round.
At the event, however, he humbled among others, two Egyptians including Hesham Abdelrahman – the winner in the Open category – and IM Ameir Moheb plus Kenya’s second seed Ben Magana to finish fourth with 6 points, 1.5 points below GM Adly Ahmed who won the championship.
He was at it again on Sunday at the Battle of Uganda’s Top Players in Blitz held at Kawuku in Entebbe. In a match that had the country’s crème de la crème take part, Wanyama, out of the possible 24 points garnered 17.5.
Chess wizards Arthur Ssegwanyi, Elijah Emojong, Patrick Kawuma, Walter Okas, Haruna Nsubuga and Belgian Serge Denyl all roared at the match that was divided into two phases [with players facing one another twice in each phase], but the rated 2250 came atop.
In the 1st phase, only Okas managed to counter blow. Ssegwanyi, Emojong, Nsubuga and the Belgian’s efforts all came to naught as they sat on the receiving end, and Kawuma could only attain a draw in the second meet.
While Emojong won the second phase with 10 points, Wanyama emerged the overall winner with a total of 17.5 points to confirm he is the king of blitz in the pearl of Africa.
Emojong’s resilience in the second phase handed him a second finish with 15.5 points alongside Kawuma who also garnered 15.5.
The No.1 seed in the region Ssegwanyi settled for the third position with 11.5, while the trio of Okas, Nsubuga and Serge each collected 8 points to share fourth.