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Uganda finishes second at World Disabled Chess Championships

By Michael Nsubuga

Added 22nd July 2019 10:02 AM

It was an improvement in the tournament having finished third overall last year and in the first outing in 2017

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Sharif Wasswa Mbaziira (seated) and John Denis Mwesigye (3rd right) pose with their coach Julius Ssali (3rd left), school director Joy Mwesigwa (centre, back) and Princess Joan Nassolo (center-front) and teachers and volunteers after their return from the 3rd Fide World Junior Chess Championship in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA at the Kampala School for the Physically handicapped, July 18 2019. Photo by Michael Nsubuga

It was an improvement in the tournament having finished third overall last year and in the first outing in 2017

Uganda’s John Denis Mwesigye and Sharif Wasswa Mbaziira collected four points a-piece to finish second overall as the 3rd Fide World Junior Chess Championship for the Disabled ended in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA last week.

It was an improvement in the tournament, which ran from July 9-15, for the Kampala School for the Physically Handicapped players who finished third overall last year and in their first outing in 2017. The two players cannot move the chess pieces by themselves.

Mwesigye ranked 1469 in the world beat Jacob Pilkington of the US in the first round before he lost to Russia’s Ilia Lipilin and to Ecuador’s Andres Fernando in the second and third rounds respectively.

The 17-year-old yielded to the world’s number 1442, USA’s Pranav Shankar in the fourth but recovered to win his next three matches against Kyrgyzstan’s Dariia Kudainazarova, USA’s Tran Nguyen and Anna Miller.

Wasswa ranked 1393 lost three of his seven matches but won against; Nguyen, Kudainazarova, Pilkington and Payton Mueller (USA), in the event that attracted 8 countries.

“I would like to become a Grand Master but chess also helps me solve problems because it helps me think,” Wasswa said.

Buganda Kingdom’s Princess Joan Nassolo who officially welcomed the pair at their school on Thursday was impressed with the two and what the rest of the school children were doing in regard to sports.

The school director Joy Mwesigwa said they were trying to show the world that even the disabled can adapt to the normal conditions proving that they were just ‘differently-abled’.

“The first thing is believing that these children can also do something and then train and believe in them. Every child has specific challenges but step by step everyone’s life is unfolding and they can become useful people in life and there are so many success stories out there,” Mwesigwa noted.

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