Wamala wins U.S. Open Class 'C' Prize
Jessica Wamala, U.S. Open Class 'C' Champion (Photo by Severine Wamala)

Jessica Wamala, U.S. Open Class "C" Champion
(Photo by Severine Wamala)

Severine Wamala is the proud father of three promising chess players (Jacob, Jessica, Yowana). All of them are among the top 50 in their age groups. Recently, Jessica Wamala competed in the Polgar Girls' Invitational (representing the state of Massachusetts) as well as the U.S. Open. The idea was to win one of the two female qualifying spots for the U.S. Championship in San Diego.

While Jessica did not win a qualification spot, she scored 5-4 which was good enough to win clear 1st in the "C" section (1400-1599). In her final round, she upset
Gordan Barrett (1826) to win 1st on tiebreaks.  Her father stated that her win was "a tremendous accomplishment for a 14-year old African-American girl." Indeed it is! Knowing Jessica, she is probably still flashing her glowing smile from ear-t0-ear.

When asking about some of her preparation, Severine Wamala stated,

"Jessica mainly did tactics (CT-ART 3.0) and reviewed her games to look for common mistakes and new plans out of the opening. She also looked at master games for plans and ideas. Weekend tournaments helped build her stamina and gain more experience. Jacob and I also help her review her own games and learn from them."

Apparently, the tactics training worked. Her game against Barrett featured a game-ending blow clinching one of her biggest victories. With school starting back, Jessica will have a lot of good things to tell her friends. It appears that that "Girl Power" is on the rise particularly in the African Diaspora. Jessica joins
Medina Parrilla, Stephanie Ballom and Brianna Conley as stars on the U.S. horizon.

Jessica polishes off Gordan Barrett by playing the shattering 19Nxd4! The game ended 20.Kc4 Ne5+.

Jessica polishes off Gordan Barrett by playing the shattering 19Nxd4! White played another move before resigning.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 25 August 2005