Ssegwanyi Targets GM Title In Africa Individual Chess

1446 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Ugandas International Master IM Arthur Ssegwanyi is determined to perform well when the 2016 Africa Chess Individual Championship starts in Kampala on Sunday..

Having achieved the International Master (IM) title last year, Uganda's IM Arthur Ssegwanyi is now aiming higher and bigger.

Ssegwanyi is aiming to improve his ranking and become a Grand Master (GM) in the 2016 Africa Chess Individual Championship slated for July 17-26 at Tick hotel in Kampala. The tournament will feature standard open and ladies category, rapid and blitz championships.

The chess ace, who last year attained the IM title after emerging top in the Africa Zone 4.2 Championship that was held in Uganda, became the first East African ever to qualify for the 2015 Chess World Cup in Azerbaijan following his victory.

His ELO number, the number used to measure a player's chess skill level, hit 2,365 points this year. That is the highest level ever reached in Uganda and now the chess ace seeks to increase his ratings in the continental event.

The 28 year-old told URN that his goal is to use the continental event to improve his rating points to 2400 and above.

"Ideally for an IM, your rating points should be above 2400 so I may say I am not playing at the level expected but I want to push it up. I hope to win this event and become a GM," Ssegwanyi said, who is currently pursuing a degree in pharmacy.

The prodigy also went on to win the National Chess Championship in 2012, the 2015 Rwabushenyi Memorial and Mombasa Open in Kenya respectively.

He also emerged as the strongest player for team Uganda at the 2014 World Chess Olympiad in Norway and secured an FM title. He is scheduled to face-off Africa's crème de la crème of chess in the open section who comprise of highly ranked players including GM Adly Ahmed (2607), GM Shoker Samy (2489) and GM Essam El Gindy (2431) all from Egypt as well as Algeria's GM Haddouche Mohamed.

He will lead team Uganda in the open category alongside Fide Master (FM) Patrick Kawuma, FM Harold Wanyama, Farouk Fauza and Simon Gonza.

Meanwhile, the ladies will comprise of WFM Goretti Angolikin, Christine Namaganda, WCM Phiona Mutesi, Joyce Kabengano and Stella Babirye. They will take on tournament favorites WGM Mona Kaled and WGM Wafa Shrook both from Egypt and South Africa's Woman International Master (WIM) Denise Frick and WIM Anzel Laubscher.

A total of 60 players from 10 African nations will take part in the event.