Uganda’s National Chess team comprising of four players; Harold Wanyama, Arthur Ssegwanyi, Bob Bibasa and Haruna Nsubuga is set to take on Kenya’s Nairobi Chess Club in a FIDE rated event to run from 11th -12th February 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Uganda’s contingent will be led by UCF General Secretary, Christopher Turyahabwe. Nairobi Chess Club’s team will comprise of Mehul Gohil, Hinga Githinji, Ben Magana and Peter Gilruth.
The international friendly, being held for the first time but planned to take place every year and held on a rotational basis in Uganda and Kenya is this year fully sponsored by Nairobi Chess Club. A similar event is expected to be held in Uganda next year.
The mode of play will be based on the Scheveningen system under which each of the Kenyan players will get a chance to play each of their Ugandan counterparts on the team.
The purpose of the event is to improve on the ratings of players from both countries, enhance competition and relations between players from both countries while preparing them for the 40th World Chess Olympiad due to take place in Istanbul, Turkey. The match will be arbitrated by Kenya’s Kim Bhari.
National Chess Champion, Ssegwanyi is the only player who has so far been confirmed on Uganda’s Olympiad team. Others are waiting to book their places in the second and third phase of the Olympiad qualifiers due in March and April 2012.
In light of the above, the other three players on Uganda’s team to face Nairobi Chess Club have been handpicked by the Federation based on recent form. Wanyama recently won the Rwabushenyi Memorial Chess Championship; Nsubuga is the reigning National Junior Chess Champion and tied for first position with Ssegwanyi in the 2011 National Chess Championship. Bibasa, a Candidate Master tied for first position in the 2011 Rwabushenyi Memorial Championship and emerged second after a play off.
Uganda’s players are undergoing intensive training in readiness for the match that will set the pace for this year’s UCF Calendar.