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Chess, a steadily developing sport in Uganda

HOSTED TWO SUCCESSFUL CONTINENTAL EVENTS IN 2019 NAMELY;

a) Africa Junior chess Championship 29th December 2018 to 6th Jan 2019 (second most prestigious event in Africa)

  • WCM Maria Nakanyike emerged 2nd, Wining a silver medal, A woman Fide Master title, A woman International master norm and qualified for the World Junior Chess Championship.

b) Africa Individual Schools Chess championship (26th June 2019 to 4th July 2019)

Uganda was the overall winner with the following medal tally

  • 23 medals ( 8 gold, 8silver , 7 bronze)
    Medal winners at the 2019 Africa Individual Schools Chess Championship at Xanadu, Hotel in Kampala, Uganda.
  • Qualified 8 players in official slots for the 2020 world schools chess championship
  • Won 6 conditional titles for;

a) Ssenabulya sharif CM title
b) Pido Edwin CM title
c) Tandeka Shiloh CM title
d) Ndagire Mary Kevin WFM title
e) Hamssadhwane Sivakumar WCM title
f) Namiiro Janice Mubiru WC title

PERFORMANCE IN AFRICA

UGANDA WON 3 MEDALS AT THE ZONE 4.2 CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

Uganda won 3 medals (gold, silver and bronze) and was as dominant as Egypt in the event.

a) In the ladies category WFM Ivy Amoko was the event winner ahead of the much stronger Egyptians.

  • She won a gold medal(with cash) &
  • A Woman International Master(WIM) title (this is the first title in East and Central Africa)

b) In the open category FM Haruna Nsubuga emerged second while IM Arthur Ssegwanyi emerged third. Event winner was Ahmed Adly of Egypt who was 0.5 of a point ahead of the Ugandan duo.

  • FM Haruna Nsubuga won a Silver medal (with Cash) and an International master (IM) norm
  • IM Arthur Ssegwanyi won a bronze medal (with cash)

2019 Zone 4.2 Chess championship held in Mombasa, Kenya.

UGANDA WON A SILVER MEDAL AT AFRICA AMATEUR CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP (6TH JANUARY 2019)

Nakabo Peninah the defending champion of the previous edition finished joint first on points and second on tie break to win a silver medal at the Africa Armature Chess Championship held in
Windhoek Namibia.

UGANDA WON A BRONZE MEDAL AT THE ALL AFRICA GAMES(AAG) IN MOROCCO

FM Harold Wanyama won a bronze medal at the AAG. Uganda Chess team was represented by 2 players (half of the required team) in Harold Wanyama and Arthur Ssegwanyi after consideration
by National Council of Sports (NCS) and Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC).

TEAM UGANDA WON GOLD AT THE ZONE 4.4 U16 ZONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IN NAIROBI, KENYA AND QUALIFIES FOR 2020 U16 OLYMPIAD IN TURKEY

Team Uganda with Support from NCS was able to win the U16 zonal championship held in Kenya from 5th to 11th December 2019.

After the debacle at the 2017 Zone 4.2 event where Uganda did not win a single match, UCF led by Eng. Mwaka Emmanuel rolled out a Juniors (u21) chess development program that has seen Uganda rise to the top in the zonal event and several other junior events like the African schools and Africa youth event.

The grass root development programs ensure the future chess players are nurtured to grow into grandmasters who will bring glory to Uganda.

The win guaranteed that Uganda was now ready and will send a team to the 2020 U16 Chess Olympiad in Turkey.

UGANDA SCOOPED A SILVER MEDAL AT THE AFRICA JUNIOR CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

Uganda hosted the event from 29th December 2018 to 5th January 2019 at the J&M airport hotel located along the Entebbe Kampala highway.

Eleven players represented Uganda at the event and WCM Nakanyike Maria emerged second in the ladies category.

At 12yrs of age she set a record as the youngest and first Ugandan to win a silver medal at the Africa juniors event.

Uganda first hosted the event in 1999 and Godfrey Makumbi won a bronze medal. Maria Won a Woman International master norm as well and this meant that she is left with 2 more norms to get the Woman International master title.

WORLD EVENT

TEAM UGANDA WON SILVER AT THE WORLD U20 CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE DISABLED.

The U20 chess championship for the disabled was held in new jersey in the USA and Uganda scooped a silver medal behind tournament favorites Russia. In third position were the event hosts USA.

This was an improvement from the previous edition where Uganda was in 3rd position.

Uganda was able to participate in the event after securing funding from FIDE through the planning and Development commission (PDC).

LOCAL EVENTS

2019 PREMIER BET NATIONAL CHESS LEAGUE

The National chess league is the biggest local event in Uganda. Premier Bet limited sponsored the 2019 national league with a 50 million shillings package which was a record sponsorship deal
any single local event in Uganda.

The league was attended by 41 teams making it one of the top chess league on the African continent.

The league was attended by Western express chess club from Kenya and Mogadishu Chess club from Somalia making it the most wide spread league
in Africa.

Kireka Panthers emerged winners of the 2019 Edition and will represent the country at the 2020 Africa Club chess Championship.

2019 NATIONAL JUNIORS CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

In Uganda National Junior event is the 3rd most prestigious event after the National chess league and the national chess championship, and is only rivaled by the Fr. Grimes national schools
chess championship.

The 2019 edition of the national juniors’ chess championship was made possible through a growth and development partnership with the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and Uganda Chess Federation. The event acted as one of the qualifying events for the Africa Individual Schools Chess Championship.

2019 FATHER GRIMES NATIONAL SCHOOLS TEAM CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

The 2019 edition of the national schools chess team championship was held at Kings College Budo under the theme Chess and financial literacy. The financial literacy program was sponsored by Bank of Uganda and it helped equip the participants with financial literacy skills among others.

The opening ceremony was graced by the Permanent secretary Ministry of
Education and Sports who represented the Hon. MOES Janet Museveni the event guest of honor.

The Guest of honor at the closing ceremony was H.E yoweri Kaguta Museveni whose message was delivered by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda Rt. Hon Dr. Ruhankana Rugunda.

2019 ZABASAJJA MEMORIAL CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

The Zabasajja Memorial Chess Championship was the final grand-prix circuit event and was held in recognition of the contribution of the late William Zabasajja who holds the record as 7 time national champion. 2019

KIREKA OPEN CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

This edition stands out as the most populous with over 240 participants and six federations represented at the event.

The guest of honor at the closing ceremony IA Augustine regime was a welcome sight and gave some useful words of encouragement before sharing that he became the first International Arbiter in East and central Africa in Nigeria 1992 when he had traveled with Andrew Naimanye who participated in the 1992 Africa Junior Chess Championship then.

2019 RWABUSHENYI MEMORIAL CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP/2019 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

The event is held annual to celebrate the contribution of the late Cyril Rwabushenyi, a former manager at Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and a former President of Uganda Chess Federation.

The event was scheduled and run during the first week of December (known as the aviation week). The previous editions were sponsored by CAA, however, the 2019 edition was sponsored mainly by chess players.

The event has been gaining a lot of publicity and the 2019 edition was upgraded to be the 2019 national chess champions and registered a record 228 participants from 5 federations namely; Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia and Afaghanistan.

The eventual champions were Nakabo Peninah and IM Arthur Ssegwanyi who were also declared the 2019 national champions. The event is the first to be won by a couple setting a record as the
first national champions won by a couple as well.

LIGHT HOUSE CHESS CLUB KENYA SPONSORS 2019 EDITION OF UGANDA OPEN

Uganda Open one of the Grand-prix events, was not played in 2018 mainly due to fixture congestion. Kasparov Chess Foundation funded the first event in 2017 which was used as the national championship.

Judith Kiragu the light house club owner came through with sponsorship of the cash prizes that ensured yet again another great 7 round Swiss chess championship and 8 round blitz event.

The event was attended by 5 chess Federations South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Afghanistan and Somalia

FIDE ARBITERS SEMINAR

For any sport to grow, capacity building is a requirement and UCF had a capacity building seminar from 1st to 5th January 2019. The event was attended by participants from Uganda and Kenya.

IA Hassan Khaled from Egypt was the lecturer and carried out all lecture sessions successfully. Six participants from uganda graduated successfully.

SIX FIDE ARBITERS (FA) FOR UGANDA CHESS FEDERATION.

A FIDE Arbiters seminar intended for capacity building was held between, 1st to 5th January 2019. The seminar was attended by 26 participants from Kenya and Uganda. Uganda was blessed with six FIDE arbiters after the exam results were released infebruary and later published by FIDE. This ensured that the number of licensed arbiters doubled in Uganda to include;

a) Teeba Jordan
b) Kimera Innocent
c) Kizito Mubiru
d) Mugidde Safina
e) Masiko Ezekiel
f) Muke Bright

REGIONAL CHESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

UCF continues chess development in the regions and visited Gulu town and the neighboring towns in northern Uganda and Kabale, Mbarara and neighboring towns in western Uganda.

Chess promotion in northern Uganda was also through the media to help create social change.

CHESS GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN WESTERN UGANDA.

During the UCF dinner in 2017 one of the guest speakers Dr. Mpairwe hinted that as far back as 1951, chess was played in Ntare school found in Mbarara a town in western Uganda. This is so far the earliest date known for chess in Uganda.

The chess game has however been spread all over western Uganda and can be found in schools like Mbarara High, Mary Hill high School and many others.

Through the theme “one million chess players one million smart minds” UCF chess caravan
continued to popularize the game by taking it further to schools near the Rwanda-Uganda border in Rushoroza and schools like Trinity secondary school among others in Kabale district.

Chess has further been popularized and can also be found in the restaurants at the shores of lake Bunyonyi in Kabale district.

50 MILLION SPONSORSHIP FOR NANSUBUGA GLORIA FROM ECOBANK

17 year old Nansubuga Gloria had a great performance at the Chess Olympiad and won a Woman FIDE Master Title. Gloria featured in the famous Disney movie Queen of Katwe and has steadily improving her game.

ONLINE CHESS AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS

UCF is keeping pace with the technological advancements and has online chess tournaments on Lichess a mobile phone application while for two years now Chess Dynasty is powering the country with Smart Digital Gaming technology that enables real time broadcast of live chess games to the whole world.

Chess Dynasty also pioneered online chess training which ensures that anyone in Uganda can be trained remotely. Another game changer is the Uganda Chess Federation mobile phone application that has already been created and is undergoing testing pending a launch.

SPONSORSHIP AND STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

PREMIER BET NATIONAL CHESS LEAGUE SPONSORSHIP

Premier BET limited has partnered with Uganda Chess Federation to proudly sponsor the biggest event in Uganda the National Chess league to a tune of 50 million Uganda shillings.

LIGHTHOUSE KENYA SPONSORED UGANDA OPEN CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

Light house a club based in Kenya sponsored the 2019 edition of the Uganda Open Chess Championship which is part of the grand prix events in Uganda.

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SPORTS(NCS) SUPPORT

NCS is one of the Key strategic partners of Uganda Chess Federation and they offer support to Uganda Chess Federation when it is available.

In 2019, support was availed to the chess team to All Africa Games in Morocco and U16 team that participated in the zone 4.4 chess championship. At both events Uganda
managed to win medals.

UGANDA OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (UOC) SUPPORT

Although chess is not an Olympic sport, UOC was supportive during the run up to the All Africa Games and ensured that chess was part of team Uganda that travelled to the games. Later Wanyama Harold won a bronze medal and the chess community celebrates this victory with the UOC community.

FIDE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

UCF has a four year partnership with the world chess federation FIDE for chess growth and development. This has seen UCF attend and run the following events successfully in 2019:-

  • U20 Chess championship for the disabled(New Jersey ,USA)
  • Regional chess development (Northern region and western region)
  • Zonal representation for Uganda(Zone 4.2 chess Championship)
  • Hosting African Individual Schools Chess Championship(Kampala, Uganda
  • National Juniors Chess Championship (kampala,Uganda)
  • Rwabushenyi Memorial Chess Championship (kampala,Uganda)
  • Zabassajja Memorial Chess Championship(Kampala, Uganda)
  • Uganda Open Chess Championship(Kampala, Uganda)
  • Fr. Grimes national schools chess championship(Kampala, Uganda)
  • PRESS AND MEDIA SUPPORT

The press and media have been overly supportive with the most notable names in the television stations sector ; UBC TV, Delta TV, NBS TV, Bukedde TV, Kwese TV and Channel 44 among others.

In other sectors UCF have mainly relied on personalities to include; Namunyala and James Bakama from New Vision daily, Robert Madoi, James Mayanja from Delta TV, John Barnes Ssentamu from UBC, Isa Mapengo from Kwese TV, Mayi
from BBS, Silvano From Bukedde and Abdusalam Kigozi from Sports Fan Magazine among others.

Radio stations included FUFA FM in Mengo , Mega FM in Gulu and several others.

FEDERATION PRESIDENTS AND ASSOCIATIONS

Federation presidents have been supportive providing much needed moral support and these include; USF president Dr. Rukare Don, UTTF president Jagwe Robert, UBF president Moses Muhangi, Benjamin Horeau president Seychelles Chess Federation and AUUS an association that runs the university games in Uganda.

FOREIGN DELEGATIONS

Several foreign delegations have been supportive and these include; South Sudan chess players who always travel to play Uganda open event, Kenyan chess players travel to play in the Uganda chess league and open tournaments in Uganda.

These include CM Ben Magana and western express team mates, Lucy Wanjiru, Dr. Mwashe, Joyce Nyaruai, Peter Gilruth and many others.

Somalia chess players including Hajji Musa, Kassim Fidow and many others.
Other delegations include Afghanistan delegation, Nigeria delegation, Rwanda delegation, Seychelles delegates and Ethiopia delegates

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