Ssegwanyi Wins Tanzania Chess Open

2040 Views Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

In short
Arthur Ssegwanyi has won the 2016 Tanzania Open Chess Championship title.

Arthur Ssegwanyi has won the 2016 Tanzania Open Chess Championship title.

The International Master (IM) Ssegwanyi won the title on Sunday at the Peacock Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania after beating his compatriot from Uganda IM Elijah Emojong (with rating points of 2339) and Siame Kaulule Siame (2166) from Zambia on a tie-break.

The three players finished the six rounds game with five points apiece but Ssegwanyi secured the much-coveted title after the organizers used a tie break system to determine the overall winner. Ssegwanyi, who is the top-rated player with 2365 rating points in Eastern Africa and the third IM to emerge from the region, also bagged a cash prize of UGX1.2 million.

In earlier rounds, he edged out lower-rated Emmanuel Mwaisuba (1669) of Tanzania, Zambia's Kaulule, IM Mwali Chitumbo (2332) and IM Gillan Bwalya (2292). He also defeated fellow Ugandan Fide Master (FM) Haruna Nsubuga (2104). However, the chess ace blundered in the fifth round match after facing a rejuvenated IM Emojong.

Ssegwanyi, 28, was followed closely in the second position by Emojong and Kaulule, who secured third place. Emojong put up a good show in his games to beat Tanzanians Primulus Kasaija (1667) and Geoffrey Mwanyika (1833), Githinji Hinga (2121) of Kenya as well as compatriots Ssegwanyi and FM Harold Wanyama (2287). He lost in his final game against Kaulule who outplayed him in a rook and pawn end game.

Meanwhile, team Uganda was also represented by Olympiad Mathias Ssonko (2121), Patrick Akena (1710) and unrated Jonah Byaruhanga. The three players finished in the sixth, fourteenth and fifteenth positions with 4.5, 3.5 and 3 points respectively.

Uganda's only female player at the championship, Woman Fide Master (WFM) Christine Namaganda (1604), also a three-time Olympiad, settled at twenty fifteenth place with 2.5 points. The three-day championship sanctioned by the World Chess body, FIDE attracted a total of 37 players from Germany, France, India, Zambia, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and hosts Tanzania.