Haruna soars as Ugandans rule Equity Chess Open


Front Board: FM Harold Wanyama battles it out with IM Haruna Nsubuga during round 6. PHOTO/...
Front Board: FM Harold Wanyama battles it out with IM Haruna Nsubuga during round 6.

Ugandan Fide Chess Master (FM) Nsubuga Haruna soared above a cast of first-rate East African talent to claim the top honours at the inaugural Equity Bank Open held in Nairobi over the weekend.

On a weekend that saw Ugandans outshine Kenyans, Haruna led the way as he outwitted top seeded locals Patrick Kawuma, Peter Gilruth, Mehul Gohil, Brian Toboso as well as compatriot FM Harold Wanyama and International Master, Arthur Ssegwanyi.

Haruna emerged winner of the prestige section while Austin Walela and Woman Candidate Master, Joyce Nyaruai clinched gold in the open and ladies’ categories.

Jeff Gichuki Maina scooped first position in Under 12 junior category, while Hardiv Karania beat his peers in the Over-12 juniors section.

With each contest proving unpredictably close fans that gathered were treated to an exciting tournament as players expressed themselves on the board with remarkable zeal.

The Kenyan team was led by the country’s highest rated player and Olympian Gilruth who gave the Ugandans an even contest and a run for their money with other Olympians Gohil, FM Steve Ouma, Lawrence Kagambi, Clement Miheso and South Sudan’s aggressive attacker James Panchol all in the hunt for glory.

Right from the first day, the expertly assembled Ugandan contingent ruled the roost and showed no sign of stopping all through as they sauntered their way to podium positions.

Kenya’s redemption came in the Open and Ladies categories where local players recorded a clean medal haul.

In the ladies section, Olympian debutant Nyaruai, proved her mettle as she swooped down on seasoned players to carry the day in style.

Walela’s hunt for points proved effective as he slashed down every king that came his way to win gold in the Open category.

With a low key year for the chess calendar, the three-day event sponsored by Equity Bank brought a timely relief and excitement, attracting players from Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Zambia, Tanzania and Somalia.

Notable absentees at the event were Candidate Master (CM); Ben Magana, reigning national champion CM Ken Omollo and countryman Githinji  Hinga besides IM Elijah Emojong of Uganda.

OVERALL RESULTS

 Prestige

  1. Nsubuga Haruna 5pts (UG) 40,000
  2. Kawuma Patrick 5pts (UG) 40,000
  3. Ssegwanyi Arthur, Gilruth, Mehul 4.5pts(UG) 6,666

 Open Category

  1. Walela Austin 6.5pts(KEN) 30K
  2. Methu Joseph 6pts (KEN) 17.5k
  3. Andiwoh Mose 6pts (KEN)17.5k

 Ladies Category

  1. WCM Joyce Nyaruai 6.5pts (KEN) 20k
  2. Asiema Isabelle 5.5pts (KEN) 12.5k
  3. Deshpande Sanjana 5.5pts (KEN)12.5k

 Juniors (Over 12) Category

  1. Karania Hardiv 5pts Gift vouchers
  2. Vadrevu Gowri 4.5pts Gift vouchers
  3. Sarah Mukhwana 4.0pts Gift vouchers

 Juniors Under 12 Category

  1. Jeff Gichuki 6.5pts  Gift vouchers
  2. Vivian Muthoni 6.0pts Gift vouchers
  3. Mohit Srungarapu 6.0pts Gift vouchers

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Story By Matthews Mutai
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