Former World chess number one player, Grand Master (GM) Gary Kasparov has lauded the diligent effort of the Uganda Chess Federation (UCF) towards promoting the game especially among the youth.
“Surely Uganda is on the right track. The Uganda Chess Federation is commended for their effort to teach the game to youngsters and maintaining the crop of great identified players”, Kasparov said during a special press conference held at Copper Chimney restaurant in Lugogo on Friday.
Kasparov is in Uganda for a two day visit. His visit to the ‘pearl of Africa’ is envisaged by many as a platform to solicit for solidarity among the East African nations ahead of the forthcoming world FIDE elections set to take place in Tromso, Norway in August 2014.
“Uganda is a fertile ground for chess players. I am partly here to align with sponsors and prove the beauty worth supporting the game”, he told Kawowo Sports in an exclusive interview.
Kasparov held a special media session with the local and international press as he interacted with the different chess players of all age groups.
He played 11 Chess games with primary and secondary school students, all at the same time (he won all). Students from St Joseph’s and Kagoma Gate primary schools, Trinity College Nabbingo, Namiyango College and Kyambogo College were engaged in different games with the chess wizard.
Michael Johnson Basangwa was the most challenging to the grand master and his game last the most time (26 minutes) but he eventually succumbed after a checkmate by the Grand Master.
“Chess is one game where passion and determination merge. I see a lot of potential with Ugandan players and believe me, Uganda has a great future”, the grand master remarked.
Uganda Chess Federation (UCF) general secretary, Chris Turyamureba thanked the Grand master for his endless commitment and love towards seeing Uganda transformed to another level.
“Grand Master Kasparov is an exemplary chess icon. He is positive towards development. This is his second visit in Uganda in 8 months. This is one sign that he has the country at heart”, he said.
Present at the press briefing were National Council of Sports general secretary, Jasper Aligawesa and Bosco Anyiku.
Kasparov will contest for the presidency of the world chess federation seat alongside incumbent, Kirsan IIyumzhinvo from the Republic of Kalmykia. Kirsan has been President of World Chess Federation (FIDE) Since November 1995.
Kasparov thereafter visited the city tyres head offices at Nakawa, Vision group premises and he is set to hold consultative meetings with top government officials before departure on Saturday.