Peace Naomi Nabuyondo
Peace Naomi Nabuyondo

Ugandan youngsters Maria Nakanyike and Peace Naomi Nabuyondo have each been awarded the title of Woman Candidate Master [WCM] by the world chess governing body FIDE.

This follows the duo’s commendable performances at the just concluded African Schools Individual Chess Championships in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Nakanyike, despite missing the first two rounds due to financial predicament conquered the championships in her U-11 category. The 11-year-old put up incomparable displays, compellingly beating all her opponents on her way to the silver medal.

The Crestals’ board five player in the National Chess League ended the nine-round event as the only player who won all her games. She finished joint top with 7 points collected from seven games, but missed a gold medal on a tie-break.

For this remarkable display, Nakanyike has been bestowed the honor by FIDE. Added to that, Nakanyike, earned a FIDE rating of 1820, making her the second highest rated female in the East African region.

She surpasses national team players including WFM Grace Kigeni [1632], WCM Phiona Mutesi [1628], WFM Goretti Angolikin [1605], Joyce Kabengano [1547] and WFM Christine Namaganda [1538], and only trails WFM Clare Amoko who is rated 1824 and seeded No.1 in the region by 4 elos.

For Nabuyondo, she earned the title after finishing third with 4.5 points in her U-9 category to win bronze. At 9 years of age, she becomes the youngest titled player in the country. This takes the number of titled female Ugandans to seven, and in particular, three WCMs.

In general, Uganda now has 14 active titled players including seven men.

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