Katairo, Matsiko face off in Comrades opener

Thomas Katairo

Saturday, August 12, is the day chess players rated below 2100 in the country will engage in a battle that will once and for all decide who amongst them is the emperor.

At the inaugural Comrades Chess Challenge, twenty players including two ladies; Peninnah Nakabo and Saphinah Mugide shall fight for the bragging rights as some seek to better their Fide ratings while others will be hunting for their maiden ratings.

Last year’s board four gold winner in the National Chess League Thomas Katairo has been pitted against Ezekiel Matsiko alias ‘Ikemat34’ in the first round on board two. The two have never met, but have time and again engaged in verbal fights. Thanks to this contest, time is now to shift the bout to the board and find out who the real gem is.

On board one is Rajab Kamoga who is rated 2088 and is seeded No.1 in this challenge. Kamoga another gold winner in the league last season has a date with unrated Peter Kiberu in the first round. The former City Chess Club player is majority’s pick to win the nine-round event.

Ivan Mukuye, the brain behind this challenge comes on board three against Isaac Mugandi. Mukuye is rated 1998 and his opponent isn’t.

On the fourth board, one of the only two titled players in this competition, Candidate Master Daniel Baagadde meets Mugide. Mugide is one of the only two ladies in the competition.

John Paul Kafuko [1965] and Rodgers Ntambi [1868] take their brainy fights to board five and six against Ivan Mugisha and David Muwanguzi respectively, while Isaac Jonathan Otim, CM Joshua Katumba and Patrick Akena- the other rated players at the one  day tourney- have Nakabo, Collins Nyombi and Brian Tembi as opponents in the opening round.

On the last board-board 10- Uganda Chess Federation [UCF] General Secretary Henry Ategeka will have veteran Paul Ignatius Wanderema to contend with.

Both players are unrated and like nine others, will be searching for their initial ratings.

The first round commences at 9am at the Comrades Arena, Wandegeya – Kampala.