UGANDA will field a strong team of 12 players in the first edition of the Regional International Chess championship in Kenya, where a sh1m ($625) top cash prize is up for grabs. Seychelles, Uganda and Kenya have confirmed participation in the highly billed tournament scheduled for March 28-April 1 at Stanley Hotel in Nairobi.
The 8-round swiss event is also expected to attract the region's top brains from Zimbabwe, Zambia Botswana, Tanzania and Malawi. Seasoned Stephen Kisuze, Pius Mwinganisa, Vianney Luggya, Isaac Munanira and Stephen Kawuma are expected to spearhead Uganda's challenge. Uganda Chess Federation has encouraged all players in the ongoing Olympiad qualifiers to take part in the competition. The Olympiad is set for Slovenia in October. "They should use the tournament as training ground in preparation for the qualifiers ahead," UCF publicity secretary Luggya said.
The second round will be held in June and the top six players will qualify for the Olympiad. The six qualifiers will be subjected to a rigorous exercise conducted by Uganda Chess Federation (UCF). Apart from the individual contest, the winning country will be determined by adding the score of the top four competitors from each country. The event is divided into different categories including the Open, Challengers, Ladies, U-18, U-14 and U-10.
Editor's note: At press time, Uganda Chess Federation President Daniel Nsibambi sent a letter (dated 26 march 2002) to Kenyan Chess Chairman, Mr. Lincoln Njenga stating that Uganda will send a contingent of 29 players instead of the 12 mentioned above!!
Posted by The Chess Drum: 25 March 2002