By Mubiru Ivan
Last weekend, 17 year old Gloria Nansubuga won a world title at the World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia. The feat made her a woman FIDE master, the third highest rank in chess.
Nansubuga is the first Ugandan lady to scoop the title from that tournament.
Born on 12 November, 2001, Nansubuga started playing chess at the tender age of four years.
At the age of 13, Nansubuga, won the Best Female honour at the Rwabushenyi Memorial Chess tournament and dominated the position of Uganda’s U-14 No.1 chess player.
She was then ranked 6,205 out of the total 168,055 female chess players worldwide; 474 among the 2,823 U-14 female chess players across the globe; 142nd on the African continent and 4th among the U-14 girls on Africa.
Born to Lydia and Wilson Kasende, in Katwe, Kampala, Nansubuga was enrolled into the chess family by Richard Kakande who is also her chess teacher at St. Mbuga Vocational School. Kakande is known for having coached and mentored Phionah Mutesi.
Though Nansubuga’s ultimate dream in life is completely outside the chess circumference – She aspires to be a medical doctor when she completes university – her aggressiveness and creativity once on the chess board spells her great success in the game.
Interestingly, Nansubuga’s character in the highly acclaimed 2016 film ‘Queen of Katwe’ was Mutesi’s underling. Now, in real life, she is emerging as a player to be reckoned with in her own right.