With this year’s Glamour International Juniors Chess Championships slated for September 9-10 at Jevine Hotel in Rubaga, defending champion Michael Basangwa has vowed to retain the title.
The former U-15 National Junior champion comfortably won the inaugural tourney held last year with 6 points collected from six games after he outdid his six opponents in the U-20 category.
“I have not been training lately because I’m a candidate and therefore I’m preparing for my finals exams,” Basangwa a senior six student at Namilyango College said.
“Chess is like exams. It needs serious preparation and this I’ve not been doing. But I always do last minute trainings and good stuff happens. Who knows; with God’s help, I may win it.”
According to John Vianney Mukalazi, Director at Chess Life Academy and organizer of various junior events in the country, this year’s edition has attracted kids from across the region and youngsters of different races including Chinese and Indians.
And this has excited Basangwa.
“I’m so excited at the fact that it’s an international event. I really hope Kenyans do take part because I’d love to verse them. I think it will be fun.
“Like I said, it’s long since I saw a chess board, but I hope to put up a good show especially against Kenyans. Although I have been doing some tactical training, I last played serious chess in May. I, however, think I’ll be competitive enough.”
Last year, over 123 kids took part. The same number is expected, and the previous winners are expected to lead their respective categories.
Uganda’s new Woman Candidate Master [WCM] and the new second seed in the East African region Maria Nakanyike is expected to defend her title. Like Basangwa, Nakanyike won the inaugural event. She topped the U-16 girls’ category.
Vincent Buwule, Marvin Bagonza, Angella Naluggya are some of the previous winners in various categories, and are set to defend their titles.