Chess Olympiad 2018: Rwandans seek to bounce back after nightmare Wednesday


Women: Malawi vs Rwanda

WFM Linda Jambo (1482)   vs   Odile Kalisa Kayitesi

Desiderata Nkhoma (1502)   vs   Layola Murara Umuhoza

Anne Simwaba (1206)          vs   Joselyne Uwase (1551)                     

Magret Ngugama (1306)       vs   Aline Niyonsaba

Open: South Korea vs Rwanda

CM Sehyun Kwon (2129)      vs  Fidele Mutabazi (1818)          

FM Martin G Walker (2078)  vs  CM Maxence Murara (1789)             

Saebyeok Kim (1999)             vs  Joseph Nzabanita (1849)        

CM Taehyung Kang (1860)    vs  Ian Murara Urwintwari (1677)          

After a round 3 humbling on Wednesday against Mexico and El Salvador, Rwanda’s Women team faces Malawi this afternoon while their compatriots in the Open section confront South Korea in the ongoing Chess Olympiad 2018 in Batumi, Georgia.

It was a day to forget for Team Rwanda in both sections as they endured defeats without a single draw against top opposition from Mexico and El Salvador.

Today, Rwandans in the Open team who have collected 3.5 points so far face South Koreans who have amassed 5 points. The Women team, with 3 points, takes on Malawians who have 3.5 points after three rounds.

Despite missing the opening round on Monday, Rwandans overpowered their counterparts of Burundi and, Antigua and Barbuda in Tuesday's Round 2 to get off to a positive start at the two-week long competition. 

After Wednesday’s thrashing, Rwanda chess federation president, Kevin Ganza, who is in Batumi told Times Sport that, “Personally, I take the day as a test of strengths. I was impressed by the games all our players played (open and women) from board one to the last.”

Like round 3, round 4 will also not be a walk in the park but Rwandan players can hope to win some points as their next individual opponents are tough but not as strong as the teams they faced on Wednesday.

In the Women section, all Malawians are rated. But Rwanda’s only rated player, 15-year old Joselyne Uwase (1551) can – on a good day – beat her opponent Anne Simwaba (1206).

In the male-dominated Open section, Rwandans also face opponents with higher rating points.

In both sections, team Captain Valentin Rukimbira, has maintained the starting lineup, with reserve players Christelle Uwamahoro, 14, and Alain Niyibizi, waiting for the moment when he sees a tactical advantage in fielding them.

Organized by the world chess federation (FIDE), the Chess Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament that attracts the best players from all over the world to compete. It comprises open and women’s tournaments, and other events designed to promote the game of chess.

This is the 43rd Chess Olympiad.

Games start at 1PM local time (3PM in Batumi) every day. The world’s biggest chess tournament started Monday – and will climax on October 7.