Emmanuel Mukose
[/media-credit] Haruna Nsubuga Credit: Photo Credit: Kim Bhari

For the first time in four years, Ugandan chess players will battle in a National Championship.

The Uganda National Chess Championship that was last held in 2013 has been scheduled to happen in October, from 19-22.

The Championship had been abandoned due to lack of funding, but with the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa offering to sponsor the event, it returns, and Hotel Africana has been chosen as the venue for the tourney.

The tourney is one that has been held intermittently. It was last held in 2013, and IM Elijah Emojong won the title ahead of FM Patrick Kawuma who missed the crown after he drew with FM Harold Wanyama in the final round.

That, coupled with the 2011 edition that IM Arthur Ssegwanyi won on tiebreak after tying points with FM Haruna Nsubuga are the only two times the Championship has been held in recent times. In both editions, WFM Grace Kigeni won the ladies category.

While it’s not held regularly, the National Championship is actually used to select a couple of players for the national team. Winning the event automatically earns one a slot in the national team in both the Open and ladies category.

IM Arthur Ssegwanyi earned his maiden appearance in the national team in 2011 following his triumph at the championship.

It is supposed to be that way but because it’s held occasionally, UCF has been using the Olympiad Qualifiers to determine who takes the number slot in the team like the most recent in 2016 and 2014 when Ssegwanyi and Kawuma topped the Qualifiers respectively. This usually happens in the Olympiad years.

Because the nationals were last held in 2013, Emojong will go into this one as the defending champion.

Marion Malinga

Staff Writer for Kawowo Sports

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