Olympiad Qualifiers: Munyurangabo leads table after round 2

Rongin Munyurangabo, 19, is widely seen as a chess star in the making. Craish Bahizi

Rongin Munyurangabo has boosted his chances to make the national team this year after beating Ian Murara Urwintwari in round 2 of the ongoing Chess Olympiad 2020 qualifiers in Kigali.

Munyurangabo, 19, edged Urwintwari, 17, late Saturday to make it two wins in as many matches having tamed Methode Twizeyimana in the first round.                       

Another promising youngster Ben Patrick Cyubahiro, 15, was seen off by Eugene Kagabo in the second round.

In other encounters; Valentin Rukimbira tamed Ben Tom Zimurinda, James Karuhanga beat Benjamin Nabaana, Methode Twizeyimana beat Saveur Bikorimana, Elysee Tuyizere dominated Kevin Ganza, while Fidele Mutabazi and Alain Patience Niyibizi shared the spoils.

The Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament that brings together teams from all over the world. The 2020 edition will be held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, from August 5 to 18.

In the open section’s qualifiers, four rounds will be played this weekend with the remaining two rounds due January 26.

The best eight will join Rwanda’s top four chess players – rated above 1800 – in the second phase of qualification competitions in March.

Qualifiers in the women section will also start in March.

The final phase of qualifiers – both in the open and women sections – will be played in May.

As was the case at the 2018 edition in Georgia, Rwanda will be represented by ten players – five in each section – at this year’s Chess Olympiad.


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