Meet Edwin Pido; Uganda’s youngest FIDE Chess Master

At just 15 years of age, Edwin Pido has already made a name on the local sports scene.

He is not a footballer neither is he a runner, two of the most popular sports disciplines in the country.

He is a chess star.

The shy sportsman took to the game as a youngster in Gulu, Uganda.

On 19th December 2021, Pido surprised the country by winning the elusive gold medal in the U15 age category during the 2021 African Schools Individual Chess Championships that were held at the Pride Inn Azure Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.

In addition, he also earned a certificate and a chess book entitled “Learning the Alien Game” from the President of the Malawi Chess Federation Susan Namangale for being the most outstanding player at the event.

He says that much as he was surprised by the achievement, it gave him the continental prominence he was looking for.

“Other players start to respect you because of such performances and that adds pressure on you to excel,” he said.

The gold medal automatically earned him a slot to participate in the Fide World School Chess Championship that concluded in Panama in June 2022.


He is also scheduled to participate at the African Schools Individual Chess Championships in Monrovia, Liberia from 10th – 18th December 2022.

Pido’s other recent achievement includes a gold medal on 6th May 2022 in the recent qualifiers at the Maisha Centre where he qualified to represent the country as an official player in the 2022 African Youth Chess Championships to be hosted at Mika Convention Centre, Lusaka – Zambia, from 2nd – 10th July 2022.

He won gold as the best board 1 player during the Father Grimes National Schools Chess Championships held from 17th – 20th April 2022 at St. Andrew Kaggwa Gombe High School.

Also on 20th November 2021, the chess talent won the Annual Cruciform Life Annual Chess Tournament, which was held at the Maisha Centre in Wakiso, and he is currently the reigning champion.

Pido has also previously represented Uganda in several continental youth chess tournaments on the continent: 2017 African Youth Chess Championship in Cairo-Egypt where he finished a respectable 13th out of 20.

He also participated in the 2017 African Schools Chess Championships, U11 Open, 21-27 August 2017, Harare-Zimbabwe (final position:12/19), 2018 African Youth Chess Championships U12, 12-18 August 2018, Kisumu-Kenya (final position: 5/21).

Later on, Pido participated in the 2019 African Youth Chess Championships U12, 16-21 December 2019, Windhoek – Namibia (final position: 6/35); 2021 African Schools Individual Chess Championships,12-19 December 2021, Nairobi-Kenya, (final position: 1/14).

At the club level, Pido who is an S.2 student at St. Mary’s College Kisubi, plays for the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Chess Club.

Pido says her mother has been an inspiration to him.

“My mother encourages me to aim higher. I have even travelled with her to some of the tournaments where she acts as my cheer leader,” says the soft spoken Pido who adds that he is a person of few words.


The biggest challenge, he says, has been to balance between his studies and chess tournaments which at times fall during the school calendar.

Secondly, he says, he has at times had to dig deep to find some of the resources needed to travel to international competitions

He advises young people who have an interest in sports to have focus and discipline.

“A game like chess needs someone to be focused because it is about the mind,” he says.

His goal is to become a chess Grand Master in the near future.

 In his free time, Pido loves reading, listening to music and computer coding.

Related Articles

Back to top button