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Female Chess Players Battle For World Olympiad slots

Ugandan women chess players will begin battle for slots in the 2018 World Chess Olympiad, as the first phase of the qualifiers gets underway on Saturday at Nob View Hotel, Ntinda.
Kirabo during the Rapid Chess tournament at Liquid silk last month.


Ugandan women chess players will begin battle for slots in the 2018 World Chess Olympiad, as the first phase of the qualifiers gets underway on Saturday at Nob View Hotel, Ntinda.

The 43rd World Chess Olympiad is set to be held in Batumi, Georgia from September 23 to October 7, 2018.

From the first phase, only the top five will qualify for the World Olympiad. The qualifiers will feature 13 rounds played in a Swiss-system tournament, where players are never eliminated. Instead, they are paired in every round until they get the best five in final phase due July 1. The time control shall be one hour plus thirty (30) seconds increment per move for each.

The qualifiers, which will be played in two consecutive weekends, looks unpredictable as it comprises of both young and experienced players. However, all eyes will be on Peninah Nakabo (1542 rating points) who will be playing in her first ever Olympiad Qualifiers after winning the African Junior Chess championships in Zambia in April, 2018 to become a WCM.

Nakabo, 25, also became the youngest Ugandan ever to win bronze at the World Chess Amateur tournament held in Italy in May, 2018. Still in the same month, she also won the Rapid Chess tournament that was sponsored by the Kasparov Chess foundation, at Liquid Silk. She bagged shs500000 as cash prize. 

The 25 year-old also won USPA best sports personality in the month of March 2018, a reward that comes forth with a glittering plaque and cash reward of Uganda shillings 500,000.

She could make history if she secures a slot in the national team to Georgia, however, she will face stiff competition from Olympiads and WFMs Amoko, Angolikin, Namaganda, Nsubuga and Kabengano, all who have been to the Olympiad several times.

The president of Uganda Chess Federation, Emmanuel Mwaka, who is currently in Rwanda for the Genocide Memorial Chess Tournament,  told URN that Uganda plans to send two teams – in the open section and the women section – to the Olympiad. Each team will comprise five players.

The open section will be represented by International Masters Arthur Ssegwanyi (2356), Elijah Emojong (2353), and Fide Masters Patrick Kawuma (2269), Haruna Nsubuga (2176) as well as Walter Okas (2212), who qualified for the 2018 Olympiad in April. Nsubuga and Okas will, be representing Uganda for the first time at the World event.

The World Chess Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament in which teams from all over the world compete. Each federation has until July 23, 2018 to submit the names of the final roster of players for registration to the organizers.

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