Ugandan Chess on the Rise!!


Late last year, the Ugandan National Team returned from the Olympics with renewed hope after improving 22 slots from previous Olympics. The Olympic team is captained by Joaquim Okoth and led by veterans Shadrack Kantinti and Grace Nsubuga. Rounding out the Ugandans are Bob Bibasa, Kenneth Kakooza, and Stephen Opio. According to , Vianney Luggya, the Ugandan Chess Federation (UCF) Public Relations Director, the country has created a competitive spirit with a thriving chess league and the rise of young stars like  Issac Munanira, 19,  and Stephen Kawuma, 20. Munanira recently won the New Vision International title defeating both Nsubuga and Kazooka in the process. Stephen Kawuma has also shown promise by winning the Ugandan Junior Championship, placing 6th in the African Juniors (held in Pretoria), and leading the Ugandan National team with 6 points in the 34th Olympiad in Istanbul.

To kick off the new year, Uganda Chess Federation hosted the NRM/Pepsi International Championship which featured eight of Kenya's top players. However, the Ugandans would benefit from "home field advantage" and took the top four prizes with Grace Nsubuga winning outright. On March 25th, Shadrack Kantinti won a blitz tournament held at Kampala's EAGEN House with a blistering 10-2 edging out Edward Sewanyana who had 9-2. Next on UCF's calendar is the New Vision International Easter Championship which has already received commitments from Tanzania and Kenya for the April 13-16th venue.

Douglas Mazune,  "Little Munanira Proves Man of the Chess Boards," New Vision.

William Muwonge,  "Olympian Kantinti wins Blitz,"
New Vision.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 6 April  2001