James Panchol Wins 2020 Zabasajja Memorial Open Chess Championship
James Panchol made Ugandan chess history by becoming the first player from South Sudan to win chess tournament in Uganda. He won the prestigious 2020 Zabasajja Memorial event with 6 points out of 7 rounds.
James Panchol, Egesa Emmanuel, FM Kawuma Patrick, FM Haruna Nsubuga and Mathis Ssonko all had 6 points. Panchol was however declared the winner as he had a better tie-break.
James Panchol had a lucky escape when he faced 2019 Kenya National Ladies Champion, WCM Wanjiru Lucy who was also taking part. WCM Wanjiru played well for most of the game but lost on time in a dead drawn position.
Zabasajja was one of the most influential chess players Uganda has ever produced. He won nine national chess championship titles during his time! Willy was also the first Ugandan to attain the FIDE Master title after stunning displays at the World Chess Olympiad. He played in 8 Olympiads (1980-1992, 1996).
Willy Zabasajja died at the relatively young age of 40 after he failed to recover from a stroke in December 2006.