Gong Thon Gong wins 7th Kireka Open Chess Championship
Gong Thon Gong wins the 7th edition of the Kireka Open Chess Championship.
The 24-year-old South Sudanese won his 1st Kireka Open Chess Championship after outwitting IM Arthur Ssegwanyi in the last round to set up a tantalising tie-break match against FM Haruna Nsubuga, who had scored seven points as well.
The tie-break match ended with a decisive score of two nil to give Gong Thon Gong the winning trophy and a cash prize of UGX 1.5 million (USD 400).
IM Elijah Emojong, Peter Majur Manyang and Rajab Kamoga ended up in joint third place with 6.5 points. However, IM Elijah Emojong took the bronze due to his superior tie-break.
Kenyan players in the event included Peter Gilruth, John Thon Ngony, Anthony Kionga, Ronald Bolo and Bradley Wathimba.
Peter Gilruth was the best-placed Kenyan with a respectable 5.5 points and ended up in 18th place.
Ladies Section & Junior Section
15-year-old Sana Omprakash Kayyar, who is rated 1715, won the Ladies Section with seven points out of eight rounds.
Sana walked away with UGX 1 million and gained 33 rating points. This victory marks an illustrious year for Sana. She raised her FIDE classical rating from 1400 at the beginning of the year to a whopping 1715 by the end of the year, making her the third-highest-rated Ugandan lady player by the end of December 2023.
Peninah Nakabo was second with six points.
Kiyimba Mercellino won the Junior Section with 6.5 points out of seven rounds.
Other event details
The 7th Kireka Open Chess Championship was the penultimate event in the calendar for the Uganda Chess Federation for 2023, which was one of the qualifying events for the 2024 Chess Olympiad in Budapest, Hungary and the 2024 Africa Games in Accra, Ghana.
The seventh edition of the Kireka Open Chess Championship attracted over 180 participants from six nations, running from the 28th to the 31st of December at the Nob View Hotel in Ntinda.
2022 – 6th edition – IM Arthur Ssegwanyi & (Ladies – Peninah Nakabo)
2021 – 5th edition – IM Arthur Ssegwanyi
2020 – 4th edition – IM Arthur Ssegwanyi
2018 – 3rd edition – Solomon Lubega
2017 – 2nd edition – FM Harold Wanyama
2016 – 1st edition – IM Arthur Ssegwanyi