Uganda gets first titled lady players

Chess Olympiads

While yesterday was a rest day at the ongoing  World Chess Olympiad, there was something to smile about as two of Uganda’s National Ladies team players Phiona Mutesi and Ivy Clare Amoko are set to attain Woman Candidate Master (WCM) titles as a result of their performances at the Olympiad.

Mutesi and Amoko have each got 4.5 points out of 9 games played, which is a 50% score, the mandatory requirement for a Candidate Master (CM) title. With this, the two will become the first titled female players in Ugandan chess history.

The Candidate Master title is what precedes FIDE Master, International Master and ultimately Grandmaster.

A title once attained is used forever and entitles the player to use it at the beginning of their name. Mutesi will for instance be refered to as WCM Phiona Mutesi.

To attain the 50% score, Amoko won four games, lost four and drew one. Along the way, she beat Fiji’s Gloria Sukhu (rated 1528), Netherlands Antilles’ Salim Moussa Arzy, Korea’s WCM Kim Taegyong (rated 1536) and United Arab Emirates’ WIM Alzarooni Khuloud Eisa (rated 1876).

She also drew with Scotland’s Giulian Rosemary (rated 1894) but lost to Bangladesh’s WIM Hamid Rani (rated 1592), Switzerland’s WIM Henatz Gundula (rated 2197), Luxemburg’s Marie Boyard (rated 2035) and Suriname’s WCM Naipel Ekaterina (rated 1756).

On her part, Mutesi won three games, drew three and lost two.

She beat Fiji’s Terubew Cydel, Korea’s Cho yeon hee (rated 1542) and Ethiopia’s Menassie Zaleke Azeb. She drew with Luxemburg’s Kremer Nadine (rated 1788), Netherlands Antilles’ Salim Moussa Seydi (rated 1806) and Suriname’s WCM Ooft Tesora (rated 1716).

She only lost to Stoeri Laura of Switzerland and Khan Nazrana (rated 2008) of Bangladesh.

The Olympiad ends with tenth round games to be played on Sunday 9th September 2012 as the Ugandan men take on highly ranked Singapore while the ladies battle Zambia.

The match between Uganda and Singapore is a must win for the men’s team to regain top spot in Group D for the much coveted prize. This is quite a tall order given that the opposition has a GM and three IMs.

However, looking at the way the boys have been playing at this event and the confidence that they have developed, a win is possible.

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