Ugandan Chess players concluded the 44th Chess Olympiad in brilliant fashion following a thrilling 3-1 victory over the Faroe Islands in the Open category in the final round of the competition.
The chess cranes went into the game needing to win to have a chance of finishing in the medal bracket, and victory they earned.
Facing a very strong Faroe Islands side, Uganda were a team on fire on the final day. FM Harold Wanyama locked horns with GM Ziska Helgi on board one, that game ending in a draw.
Board two had FM Patrick Kawuma also draw against FM Nielson Hogni while Walter Okas beat FM Egilstoft Rogvi on board 3.
The highlight of the round though was FM Haruna Nsubuga inflicting pain on IM John Rodgaard on board 4. Nsubuga was a man possessed as he saw off his opponent.
The result meant the team ended the tournament with 12 wins. It was a performance that nearly earned the country a bronze medal, the boys coming short of that on tiebreak.
Player-coach Wanyama ended the tournament with 5.5 points while Nsubuga and Walter Okas each finished with 5. FM Patrick Kawuma ended with four.
Debutant Emmanuel Egesa earned himself a Candidate Master title after scoring 4.5 points. Egesa played 8 games on board 5. He lost just two.
In the ladies category, Uganda lost to Scotland in the final round, but the good news was board one players Peninah Nakabo and Takali Milley earned the conditional Woman Fide Master titles. The two each finished with 6 points to earn that.
15-year-old Patricia Kawuma didn’t disappoint despite being a debutant in the national team. The teenager garnered 4.5 points while Shakira Ampaire came out with 3 and WCM Gloria Nansubuga with 2.5.
The Ladies ended the tourney with 10 points. Position-wise, Uganda finished 82nd out of the 188 countries in the open section and 91st out of 167 in the women category.