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Ssonko crowned Rwanda champion

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Mathias Ssonko of Uganda was crowned the 2018 Rwanda Genocide Memorial Champion last week.  He scored an impressive 6.5/7 to record his first victory in Rwanda.

Poster for the event.
Poster for the event.

Mathias was one of the four players that tied for first place in 2017.  His score will see him gain an impressive 44 Elo points and increase his rating to above 2150.

Mathias Ssonko of Uganda in an photo taken from the 2016 Mombasa Open.  Photo credit Mombasa Chess Club.
Mathias Ssonko of Uganda in an photo taken from the 2016 Mombasa Open. Photo credit Mombasa Chess Club.

FM Harold Wanyama fought back well after a loss to Mathias in round 5 with a last round win over FM Haruna Nsubuga.   This was was enough for an outright second place finish with 6 points out of 7 games.

The playing hall.  Photo credit Duke Micheka.
The playing hall. Photo credit Duke Micheka.

FM Haruna Nsubuga ended in 3rd place with 5.5 points.  He gained 19 Elo points to record a FIDE rating in excess of 2200 for the first time in his career.

CM Ben Magana who is the current Kenya National Champion obtained 5 points to end up in 4th position.

Kenya National Champion CM Ben Magana (left) takes on Uganda star FM Harold Wanyama during their round 4 encounter.  Photo credit Duke Micheka.
Kenya National Champion CM Ben Magana (left) takes on Uganda star FM Harold Wanyama during their round 4 encounter. Photo credit Duke Micheka.

Mary Ndagire and Victoria Nakirya were the best ladies in the International section.  Ben Zimurinda and Fidele Mutabazi were the best local players in the same section with a commendable score of 4/7.

Ivan Mugisha (UGA) was the winner of the 6 round Open event with 5.5 points.   Samuel Were (UGA), Ben Cyubahiro (RWA), Mike Akabo (UGA) and Faruk Kizza (UGA) who all ended on 5 were in joint 2nd place.  Happiness Mutete and Joselyne Uwase both of Rwanda were the best ladies in the Open section with both scoring 4/6.

The event attracted a total of 32 players in the International section and 52 players in the Open section.  Federations represented included Burundi, India, Kenya, England, South Sudan, Uganda and host Rwanda.

Final standings for all sections can be found here – 2018 Rwanda Genocide Memorial.

Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa were the sponsors of the event.