Clad in an animal print shirt, and a black watch, Paul Kafuko smiles shyly and looks on with a gentle gaze and he plays a training game against Woman FIDE master Goretti Angolikin at the Kireka Chess open.
Although the tournament was eventually won by Dmark’s Lubega Solomon Lwanga who scored seven points out of a possible eight, the 25-year-old Kafuko overcame the odds to finish with six points and only lost two points to a family emergency.
The Jinja College old boy scored a rare tournament win against the formidable FIDE master Haruna Nsubuga in the fourth round and is set to start 2019 with a better international rating than the 1998 points he started with.
“Without a doubt, this is one of my best performances. Although I had the same points last year, I did not beat a major player. However, I beat Haruna this time round. This time am sure of crossing 2000 in rating points after this tournament is rated,” Kafuko said.
“I have an ambition of being on the national team to represent Uganda at the international chess Olympiad in 2020,” the student at the Law Development Center said of his ambitions. Although it’s a year from now, Kafuko said he is preparing for next year’s Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
Kafuko started playing chess in senior one in 2008 alongside players like Maurice Sangalo, David Muwanguzi, Thomas Katairo, Mathias Ssonko, and FIDE International IM Elijah Emojong who finished second with seven points at the Kireka Open after registering a surprise loss against Were Samuel in the second round.