It has not been a smooth ride for top Ugandan players at the ongoing Uganda Open Chess Championships.
Friday produced three major upsets as the trio of International Master Arthur Ssegwanyi, FM Harold Wanyama and FM Haruna Nsubuga sat on the receiving ends.
Ssegwanyi, the top seeded player in the East African region had a day to forget. The IM drew with Paul Frobisha Katula in the third round and lost to South Sudan’s Candidate Master Rehan Deng Cypriano in the subsequent round, leaving him placed 31st in the standings with a paltry 2.5 points.
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While both Wanyama and Nsubuga ended the day on a high with respective victories over Arthur Christopher Lwanga and Francis Obita in the fourth round, the FMs started the day on losing sides, both suffering defeats in the third round.
Kenya’s James Madol Panchol outsmarted Wanyama while Nsubuga fell prey to Deng.
Defeats to Ssegwanyi, Wanyama and Nsubuga mean only FM Patrick Kawuma among the top players hasn’t tasted defeat at the championship. Kawuma is in fact a joint leader with four points having won all his games.
While the trio didn’t savor the day, IM Elijah Emojong was recovering and having fun against his opponents. Emojong was the first top player to endure defeat at the event, but Friday saw him triumph in both his games.
This sets up a contest between him and Rajab Kamoga. Kamoga is placed fifth currently in the standings with 3.5points after he won three of his first four games.
On to the next challenge, Kawuma meets Panchol- both on four points- in the fifth round on board two. And veteran Shadrack Katinti faces Deng on board two. The duo are also on four points each.
Wanyama has Solomon Lubega- the man who handed Emojong his lone defeat thus far- to contend with in the fifth round. Lubega is on fire, but the two met in the National Chess League and Wanyama won the contest.
Ssegwanyi has been paired against the top female seed in the region Woman Fide Master Ivy Clare Amoko in the fifth round. The two battle on board 16, both with 2.5 points. Ssegwanyi had to falter and Amoko had to beat Rodgers Kalema to set up this contest.