Patrick Cyubahiro: Chess federation impressed by the youngster’s steady rise

Ben Patrick Cyubahiro,15, in action during the tournament at Classic Hotel in Kigali, over the weekend. Courtesy

Kevin Ganza, the Rwanda Chess Federation president, has praised the continued progress of teenager Ben Patrick Cyubahiro, who bagged a trophy as the Best Junior in the tough international section of the just concluded 2019 Genocide Memorial Chess Tournament in Kigali.

When the two-day tournament ended Sunday night, the 15-year old rated 1734 had not only conquered Uganda’s Masiko Ezekiel (1765), among his three wins, but he also added 13.6 rating points from six rounds.



Participants were from Kenya, Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, South Sudan, Uganda and, hosts Rwanda. Courtesy


Ganza said: “The local player that impressed us the most is Ben (Cyubahiro) for his continued improvement and the fact that he doesn't fear to hold battle with stronger and older players, yet he is just 15.”

“From one tournament to another, one can easily spot his progress. He, and others, make us all proud.”

The youngster emerged best junior with three wins and finished 15th overall.

Last year, the S.4 student of Groupe Scolaire St. Joseph (JOC) in Kigali, surprised many by emerging third – and best junior – after losing only one game in the open section of a six-round contest. This year he opted to do battle in the tougher international section and he did not disappoint.

“I am happy for the trophy. I am going to keep on training and I hope I can win more games in the future,” the soft-spoken teen told Times Sport.
Also notable was Anna Ngarambe, a 17-year-old S.6 student of the Lycée Notre Dame de Cîteaux (LNDC) who also got a trophy and cash prize as Best Lady in the U1700 section.

Over all, members of the Ugandan contingent dominated the medal podium. In the international section, the winners were FM Patrick Kawuma, CM Bob Bibasa and Allan Ssonko Mathias, respectively.

The best Rwandan player of the section was reigning national champion Joseph Nzabanita who was 7th overall, with 4 points.

In the U1700 section, Rwanda's Eugene Kagabo Mugema emerged winner followed by Uganda's Arthur Bitarinsa, and 18-year old Saveur Bikorimama, another Rwandan, of Groupe Scolaire Kimisange – a secondary school in Kicukiro District.

In March, Bikorimama’s school team won gold medals and a trophy after outwitting other teams in this year’s inter-schools chess tournament.

The best junior was Didier Uwimana, 12, who goes to Groupe Scolaire St Famille Primary School in Kigali. 

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