Harold Wanyama

In March, when robbers attacked Fide Master Harold Wanyama at his home in Makindye, very few could have predicted that five months later, the FM would be playing high-level chess.

On that dark day, the robbers entered the house at 3 am, robbed and badly beat up the FM before leaving him for dead. Having been staying alone, no one knew what had happened to the father of one.

It was not until the following day at 9 pm that he was found lying in a pool of blood unconscious.

The doctors failed to explain how he survived and, five months later, he is flying the Ugandan flag up high at the All African Games ongoing in Rabat, Morocco.

The event commenced 10 days ago but Ugandan chess players took to board on Tuesday. Wanyama’s round one opponent was a rather weak player, however, as the games progressed, the rated 2237 was faced with the toughest of hurdles.

Algeria’s International Master, Arab Adlane, came first but despite being the lowly rated player of the two, the Ugandan forced a draw in the second round.

The Olympian then, returned to winning ways, beating Zimbabwean IM Rodwell Makoto in the third round and FM Traore Bakary from Mali in the subsequent round before pulling one of the event’s surprises when he outwitted Moroccan Grand Master Hamdouchi Hicham in the fifth round.

Harold Wanyama

He followed that up with draws against another GM, Bilel Bellahcene from Algeria and Zambian IM Andrew Kayonde.

Despite losing to the eventual gold winner GM Adly Ahmed from Egypt, the 38-year-old sealed third place and walked away with a bronze medal in the Rapid section with 6.5 points.

In Blitz, Wanyama missed out on the medal bracket by half a point, finishing fifth with six points.

International Master Arthur Ssegwanyi is the other Ugandan chess player taking part in the games. The No.1 seed in the East African region in Standard chess finished 16th in Rapids and 14th in Blitz with 5.5 points.

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