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Ntende in the driving seat at Chess Olympiad qualifiers

By Samuel Sanya

Added 1st February 2016 11:11 AM

The top 12 from this event will engage each other in a round robin commencing on 6 February 2016 to determine the top 5 to form the national team.

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The top 12 from this event will engage each other in a round robin commencing on 6 February 2016 to determine the top 5 to form the national team.

Youthful sensation Edgar Ntende maintained his blistering form in the last two rounds of the Olympiad Qualifiers that ended at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Rubaga on Saturday 30 January 2016 by drawing with Richard Kato and CM Daniel Baagadde in the last two rounds to maintain an unbeaten record and half point lead at the top of the final standings. He finished with 6 points out of a possible 8.

Ntende had earlier on caused a stir in the early rounds by beating FM Harold Wanyama, Farouk Fauza, CM Bob Bibasa and drawing with FM Patrick Kawuma and the highly rated Walter Okas, which results helped him to consistently lead the event from beginning to end.

The reward for him is a much coveted place in the last and final phase of the Olympiad and Africa Individual Qualifiers.

The top 12 from this event will engage each other in a round robin commencing on 6 February 2016 to determine the top 5 to form the national team.

Walter Okas was the other outstanding performer in the second phase and finished in second position unbeaten with 5.5 points. He tied at the same number of points with Olympian Kawuma, Richard Kato (another youngster who impressed by punching above his weight) and Dan Baagadde.

The other players who made it to the last phase include Wanyama, Kamoga Rajab, IM Arthur Ssegwanyi (who had to dig deep to recover from a slow start), Farouk Fauza, Emmanuel Mwaka, Simon Gonza and Bob Bibasa.

Notable absentees out of the top 12 include ex Olympians Mathias Ssonko, Shadrack Kantinti and perennial contender CM Haruna Nsubuga who finished with 4, 4 and 3.5 points respectively.

Such was the intensity and strength of the play over the grueling 8 rounds that players of such calibre couldn't score more than 50 percent.

Solomon Lubega and Benjamin Mukumbya also failed to make the grade. Mukumbya had earlier on shown flashes of brilliance by drawing with Ssegwanyi and beating Haruna Nsubuga among others only to crumple under unfamiliar pressure in the last two rounds against seemingly manageable opponents.

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