Another Kawuma to make Olympiad

Kawuma ousts Nsubuga on Olympiad team
Sunday, 27th December, 2009

By Phillip Corry (Uganda)

Final standings

1. H. Wanyama 8.5 points
2. P. Kawuma 7.0
3. S. Kantinti 6.5
4. B. Bibasa 6.5
5. S. Kawuma 6.0
6. G. Nsubuga 5.5
7. R. Kamoga 5.5
8. H. Nsubuga 5.0
9. W. Okas 5.0
10. E. Mwaka 4.5
11. M. Kawuma 3.5
12. M. Mawanda 2.5

TWENTY-YEAR old Patrick Kawuma will replace veteran chess star and national master Grace Nsubuga at the 2010 World Chess Olympiad in Moscow in July.

Nsubuga was the biggest causality in last week’s qualifiers at Lugogo. Nsubuga, who has been a consistent traveller to the world chess meet fell short with 5.5 in the battle for five slots on the national team.

The new face, brother of FIDE master Steven Kawuma, bagged seven points, one better than his elder sibling.

East Africa champion Harold Wanyama cemented his reputation by easily qualifying with an outstanding performance that saw him collect 8.5 points and drawing only one of the nine games.

The other senior players that booked berths to the World Chess Olympiad include Shadrack Kantinti and Bob Bibasa.

New Vision (Uganda):


  1. Last year(2008),at about this time I was playing in the African Junior Chess championship along with Kawuma.As far as i can remember,the fella displayed the ability to gain favourable positions against the majority of his opponents.If not for a few oversights,he would have taken the crown.
    Well,well…it appears my friend has really polished up his chess.7/9 is a brilliant score! Congrats too to Wanyama,excellent!!
    Lets have an IMPACT in 2010!

  2. For Wanyama to finish 1.5pts clear off the field is a statement. Watch out for this guy, I will not be surprised if he takes some GM & IM scalps at the Olympiad. Is the ridiculous TPR thing still in effect at the Olympiad to determine medal winners? Wanyama has chance to bag a medal if things will be based on points.

    This is a strong Ugandan team. They maybe looking for their best Olympiad result ever in Siberia.

  3. Thanks Mehul.

    Ironically, he was the person embroiled in the visa issue in 2008. It was sad because he had traveled to Germany previously and had written a ChessBase article that got wide exposure. I’m more concerned about the visa issue than anything else.

    I’m not sure the medal criteria is the same, but it’s a shame that they change the rules so often. They changed the points rule when China won the silver in 2006. It was said that China beat weaker teams 4-0 so they moved from board points to match points. Everytime teams from developing countries make progress, there is the institution of different rules.

    The “zero-tolerance” forfeits disproportionately affected teams from Africa and the Caribbean, some of whom stayed almost an hour tram ride away. I hope all players are staying in the same village instead of spread out all over the city. How can the “zero-tolerance” be fair otherwise? The more expensive hotels were closer at Dresden and for a foreigner to have to take a tram ride (no shuttle) in a city (Dresden) that is known to have had problems with neo-Nazi activity is short-sighted.

    We’ll have to research Siberia, but I’m sure they don’t see African people often. Uganda should start raising money now.

  4. Daim,

    Mainland Europe countries (and UK) have stringent VISA rules. But Russia should be easier to do. Lots of Kenyan students study in Russia, I have a cousin studying medicine there. Visa procedure for Russia seems faster and less of a headache then other European countries. Though I can’t be sure about an application based on a chess activity!

    I would say the biggest obstacle of all for teams from East Africa (Kenya and Uganda) will be air-tickets. I would suggest players and federations start sourcing finances for them ASAP.

    Plus players who have qualified should save up a little for their own personal use in these places. When some Kenyan olympians come back they mention the expensive standard of living in these countries (My cousin says Russia is expensive) and many times they are hard pressed to take themselves out for even a cup of coffee!

    Otherwise, I hope Uganda make it. That’s a sold team they have. Kenyan team will be known by end month.

  5. Well… I remember posting an article about Uganda in January 2008 about a chess crisis. They were seeking sponsorships for the Olympiad and other events. I was surprised when they end up having trouble getting visas and plane tickets some eleven months later.

    I would think visa apps would be easier for a chess event in Russia. It seems as if western Europe has a different policy for Africans and those from the Middle East than they do for others. There is of course the “flight risk” of overstaying visa. That was a considerable issue in Germany 2008. I’m not so sure about Russia.

    In 2008, some were saying Africans waited until the last minute to apply for visa, but even in cases where they applied months in advance there were still problems. The issue is, if you cannot raise money for tickets and visa fees, then your visa application will be delayed. The Ugandan team may be a good one… IF everyone gets a visa!

  6. Diamm, hopefully we have learned from our past and this time we may be able to send both the mens and womens team for the first time ever. It really cant get any worse than before. Plus as you have noted out Russia isnt so stringent with the Visa issue. What we need now is just sponsorship which has to be looked for as quickly as possible. Mehul your right, this has got to be one of the most balanced team Uganda has ever fielded , it seems to be better than the previous one but time will tell.

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