Haruna Nsubuga Ecstatic Ahead of Chess World Cup

Playing at a World Cup is one of the most fulfilling things for an athlete in any sport. The euphoria that comes with representing your country at such a big stage especially for an individual sport is comparable to nothing

The year 2023 just got started and with it harbouring many a major sporting events, athletes will be looking forward to fulfilling their childhood dreams. Such an athlete is Fide Master Haruna Nsubuga who will be representing Uganda at the Fide Chess World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Nsubuga has played the brainy game for as long as he can remember, but of the East Africa’s ‘Big six’ that include, International Master Arthur Ssegwanyi, IM Elijah Emojong, FM Patrick Kawuma, FM Harold Wanyama and Walter Okas, the 31-year-old has always been seen as the ‘weak’ one, yet here he is, a World Cup bound.

That opportunity did not come on a silver platter though! The rated 2226 had to outwit the trident of Kawuma, Wanyama and Okas in a ten-round qualifying event that was held at Gloria’s Garden in Namugongo to earn the lone slot.

“It means a lot to me. This is a dream come true,” Nsubuga while speaking to SportsNation expressed his delight.

“The World Cup is unique! It is an opportunity and a platform for me to test myself; an opportunity for me to showcase my talent.”

Nsubuga will look to follow in the footsteps of Ssegwanyi who remains the only Ugandan to play at a Chess World Cup. Ssegwanyi, ranked No.1 in East Africa competed at two World Cups, but the one that remains memorable to not only him, but the entire chess fraternity in Uganda was the 2015 one that was also held in Baku where the IM drew against Russian Grand Master Anish Kumar Giri in the opening round. Giri was ranked 4th in that tournament.

It is only fair to say that Ssegwanyi has to his name, loads of experience in as far as the World Cup is concerned. As Nsubuga prepares himself for the global showpiece, Who better to chip in with a piece of advice than the man who’s been there?

“The World Cup is a completely different thing. It’s something that’s not on our levels. Even if you go there knowing exactly that, you still ending up getting shocked at the level of competition,” Ssegwanyi advised.

“What Haruna (Nsubuga) needs to do is to prepare early enough for his opponent. Usually, you’re told the opponent you’re to face two or three months before the tournament starts. He needs to study his opponent’s style of play and master every bit of it.

“He also has to know that every move those guys make has something hidden in it. You might think you’ve understood the move, yet in actual sense, you haven’t. So he needs to take his time and study the move thoroughly.”

The number one seed however, believes his national teammate will duly represent Uganda.

“Haruna is very talented, he’s the youngest in the national team, but he’s been around for a long time and won many trophies which shows the kind of hard work he’s put in. It is time for him to show the world what a talent he is.”

The World Cup is scheduled to start on July 29.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *