The 37 Ugandan contingent competing at the Kenya Open Chess Championship registered mixed results at the event that commenced on Thursday at the Satir Expo Center in Nairobi.
Ugandans through national team coach Fide Master Harold Wanyama headed into the tournament with little optimism about winning the event.
That is owing to the presence of Grandmasters at the event, but despite any bar Shiloh Tandeka not facing any GM in the opening two rounds, upsets have already been suffered in the Ugandan camp, with the most notable ones being Wanyama and International Master Elijah Emojong
After both cruising past their lowly rated opponents in the first round, Wanyama, the defending champion of this tournament failed to negotiate his way past his round two opponent, Ghanaian Arena International Master Wilson Onuoha as the two settled for a stalemate.
For Emojong, the rated 2109 was clobbered on board 17 by Kenya’s Felix Boera who is rated 1731.
Rajab Kamoga and Farouk Fauza were the other notable Ugandans that stained their opening rounds in the Open category.
It was routine victories however, for IM Arthur Ssegwanyi, FM Haruna Nsubuga and FM Patrick Kawuma. The trio won both their opening games.
Candidate Master Emmanuel Egesa and Abdul Shakuru Wagodo were the other Ugandans that won both their games in the Open section.
In the Ladies section, the quartet of Peninah Nakabo, Woman Candidate Master Shakira Ampaire, and the siblings of Aine Atubet and Talia Atubet won their opening two rounds.
Woman Fide Master Gloria Nansubuga and Takali Milly, the recent returnees from the Chess Olympiad hosted in Chennai, India each won one and drew the other.
Games continue on Friday with round three and four in what promises to be a walk in the park for Ssegwanyi, Nsubuga and Kawuma in the opening round of the day. The three have each been pitted against unrated players.
For the duo of Wanyama and Emojong, they will certainly seek redemption as they both will come up against Kenyans.