Kireka A Chess Club reclaimed the National Chess League title after going unbeaten in what was one of the most cutthroat seasons in recent times.
Kireka who had won each of the titles between 2016 and 2021 relinquished the honours to their sister club Kireka Panthers in 2022, but they ensured to regain the bragging rights despite stiff competition from at least four clubs.
The collective effort from their players largely contributed to their success this season. Each of Candidate Master Emmanuel Egesa, Emmanuel Musasizi, Sana Omprakash, David Muwanguzi and veteran, FM Bob Bibasa bagged at least seven wins in the league.
With 11 points to his name, Musasizi won silver on board four while Bibasa secured bronze on board two with 9.5 points.
Mulago Kings’ FM Harold Wanyama however, was the Gold winner on board one and ultimately the MVP of the league.
IM Elijah Emojong from Jinja Knights scooped gold on board two, Gambits’ Ivan Mugisha Jalagatha (G) on board three while Allan Mugaga won it on board four.
Board five- dedicated to juniors had Reagan Male Kavuma from SOM win gold while the gold medal from board six- the female board- went to Sarah Nakalyoowa.
Team wise, the silver medal went to Soroti Chess Club who totalled 32 points, four behind the champions and the bronze was pocketed by SOM Katwe with 31 points.
Kireka Panthers finished fifth with 28 points in the Classical section, but they made amends on the final day when they won both the Rapid and Blitz sections.
They lost just one game and drew two in the Rapid, but went unbeaten in the Blitz, winning 13 and drawing one.
FM Walter Okas from Soroti however, was the king of Blitz. He won 13 out of the 14 games. Hassan Kibule (Mulago Knights), Elvis Otika (Butikiro Chess Club), Musasizi ( Kireka A), Kawuma (SOM Natete), and Nakalyoowa from Gombe A won gold on boards 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 respectively.
In the Rapids, Mark Nyola Wasswa from Civil Aviation Authority took home gold with 10.5 points. Kireka A’s Egesa owned board two while board three was won by Arlone Kanaabi from Kireka Salty.
Board four, five and six were won by Samuel William Kalumba from Mulago Knights, Martin Kingsley Okurut from Mango Tech and Hannah Zion Mawejje from Lighthouse Team Atoma respectively.
It is promising times for Ugandan chess as the season was dominated by youngsters.