Rwanda: Siblings Munyurangabo, Uwase Crowned 2020 National Chess Champions


Rongin Munyurangabo, 20, and his 17-year-old sister, Woman FIDE Master (WFM), Joselyne Uwase, are the 2020 national chess champions in the open and ladies sections, respectively.

This comes after they, each, refused to be intimidated in this year’s national chess championship which ended on Sunday, December 13, at the Kigali Public Library.

Over the past two consecutive weekends, Munyurangabo – who proved to be a force to reckon with during last year’s event – only lost once, drew twice and won five times to emerge top in the open section. He tied with Eugene Kagabo Mugema and Valentin Rukimbira, on 6 points. But he had a tie-break advantage, having trounced each of them earlier.

Last year, Munyurangabo proved he had the ability to brawl with tougher opponents when he emerged second, narrowly missing out on the national championship title.

In the ladies’ section, five rounds were played in a single round-robin system. WFM Uwase won all her games to wrestle the crown from Sandrine Uwase, 18. The latter retained the title for a record third year in a row, last year. But she did not look self-assured this time as she easily bowed to pressure from better-prepared opponents.

Rongin Munyurangabo is the new male national chess champion.

The former national champion enjoyed a good start when she tamed Faustine Shimwa in round 1 a week ago. But lady luck didn’t smile when she met 14-year-old Happiness Mutete in round 3 on Saturday, December 12. After losing to Mutete, all she had to do was calm down and win her remaining two rounds but it was not to be.

Sign up for free AllAfrica Newsletters

Get the latest in African news delivered straight to your inbox