Candidate Master (CM) Godfrey Kabera proved his doubters wrong when he outclassed opponents to win a best performer’s medal and trophy in a three-day Easter Open Chess Classic tournament that concluded in Kigali late Sunday night.
The tournament played at IPRC-Kigali in Kicukiro was organized by MiniChess Rwanda, a local franchise of the award winning MiniChess educational programme in South Africa, had 32 contestants including two Kenyans, two Burundians and one from South Sudan.
In the six-round competition Kabera who last month failed to qualify for a place on the national team that will carry Rwanda’s flag at the Chess Olympiad 2018 later this year, was ruthless as he pawed opponent by opponent to eventually be the only contests with six points out six games.
The tournament’s number two was Kenyan, Naftaly Wachira Mwangi, who remarkably gave a hard time to most opponents but succumbed to Kabera in round six.
Third and fourth were Rwandans, CM Maxence Murara and Valentin Rukimbira.
Naftaly Wachira Mwangi, however, surprised many as he pushed hard to win the second best performer's medal. (J Karuhanga)
The individual and rated tournament was deemed to be a warm up for the 10 members of the national team – open section and women section – who will represent Rwanda at the Chess Olympiad 2018 in Batumi, the second-largest city of Georgia, from September 23 to October 7.
Teenagers Sandrine Uwase (reigning national women champion) and Ian Murara Urwintwari, both 15, who will travel with the national team later this year were best female and young player, respectively, and also went home with merited medals.
Organized by the world chess federation (FIDE), the Chess Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament where teams from all over the world compete. It comprises open and women’s tournaments, as well as several events designed to promote the game of chess.