In a stunning display of unwavering determination, Kireka Chess Club clinched their 7th consecutive National League Chess Championship 2023/2024 (Premier Bet National League) – the most prominent chess league in Africa featuring teams from Somalia and Kenya. Spanning 14 intense rounds and is proudly sponsored by Premier Bet and the government of Uganda. This league showcased Kireka Chess Club’s unmatched performance, solidifying their place as champions and making a significant impact on the chess scene in Uganda

Kireka Chess Club Emerges Victors at the National Chess League 2023 (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)

Soroti Chess Club, under the management of Dr. Otete and captained by Takali Milly, secured the silver position, demonstrating their resilience and skill on the chessboard. Meanwhile, the third spot was claimed by SOM Chess Academy, managed by Robert Katende, renowned for nurturing chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi, the Queen of Katwe.

Soroti Chess Club wins Silver at the National Chess League (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
SOM Chess Academy wins Bronze at the National Chess League (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)

The National League 2023/2024 was a great success with some major key highlights. The introduction of an extra board to handle juniors was a success. In addition, the levels have increased generally with more players studying the game. One major con was team submission of names before the playing day needs to be worked upon and a policy enforced going forward


Under the leadership of Mr. Bob Were and Mr. Murana Justine, the Kireka Chess Club has consistently propelled itself to greatness. The trio of captains, namely Kaddu Ivan, assisted by Kafuko John, Musasizi Emmanuel, and Mukose Emma, orchestrated the success of the club.

Vice president: Otim Isaac (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
President: Eng Mwaka Emmanuel (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)

A remarkable feat for Kireka Chess Club was their unbeaten run throughout the tournament, showcasing their dominance and strategic prowess in the 48-team league. The club’s dedication to excellence was evident not only in the classical time control matches but also in rapid and blitz formats. In the rapid and blitz categories, Kireka Chess Club once again proved their mettle by clinching victory in both. The club’s triumph in the blitz category was closely followed by Mulago Kings Chess Club, while in the rapid category, Soroti Chess Club and Mulago Kings Chess Club secured commendable positions.

Mulago Kings Chess Club (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)

An unexpected twist in the league came from Mango Tech Chess Club, a haven for Uganda’s best juniors managed by FM Wanyama Harold, who also serves as the Uganda National Coach. Mango Tech Chess Club displayed its prowess by defeating formidable opponents such as Panthers and Gambit Chess Club, showcasing the rising talent in the Ugandan chess community.

Ajiri, Ethan, Okurut of Mango Tech Chess Club
Arthur, Mathew Mango Tech Chess Club
FM Wanyama Harold (National Coach)

The league also highlighted individual achievements, with icons like Male Regan from SOM Chess Academy, and IM Emojong Elijah clinching medals across all time controls. FIDE Master Wanyama Harold emerged triumphant on the toughest board, securing the gold on Board 1.

Kireka Panthers wins Rapid and Blitz

This was quite a competitive league season. Kireka Chess Club was just one move ahead of the others and this was instrumental in helping us sweep all the trophies at hand. Great thanks to UCF for the organization. We look forward to the next season with anticipation. Preparation started yesterday

Kaddu Ivan Kireka Chess Club captain
(photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
IM Emojong Elijah and Otella of Knights Chess Club (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
Great Thinkers (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
Okas Walter Uganda’s best blitz player receives gold on board 1 blitz
The president Uganda Chess Federation awarded by chess parent
The great audience at the closing ceremony (Photo credit Mukuye Ivan)

I think the league is a great event that brings the chess community together. At all times we must have the national chess league! Congratulations to all the winners of the 2023 Premier Bet Uganda National Chess League!

Vice President Uganda Chess Federation – Otim Isaac
Kaddu Ivan Kireka Chess Captain (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
Chess Twins Kato and Mark Nyola (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
MUK echelons (credit: Mukuye Ivan)
Mugaga Allan of MUK Chess Club displays his medals (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
Male Regan of SOM Academy receives his third medal (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
Butikiro Chess Team (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
UCF Treasurer and arbiter (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
Former and Current National Coach (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
Coach Gonza Simon and Kamoga Rajab (photo credit: Mukuye Ivan)
Okurut Shares a moment with the parent and sister
Mitchelle shares a moment with his parent
Kush Unadkat shares a moment with his parents

As the final checkmate echoed through the 2023 Premier Bet National League, Kireka Chess Club stood tall, solidifying their status as the undisputed chess champions, while the entire chess community celebrated the spirit of competition and camaraderie that defines this intellectual sport in Uganda.

Credit Samuel Were

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