The national chess league championship started Sunday with a team from Eagles Chess Club (ECC) dominating after the first two rounds played at the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology premises, in Kigali.
The reigning champions are again fielding two teams but despite Eagles A’s dominance, Eagles B suffered two consecutive defeats and will climb a steep mountain in the next rounds.
Eagles B captain Gerard Mbabazi admitted his squad’s start “was not amusing,” besides the fact that they were a player down and at disadvantage and had to trudge on.
Every team has slots for five players in each round of games but Eagles B had only four as one of their players unexpectedly failed to make the team on the last minute.
Mbabazi said: “That was a free point given away even before games begun, reducing our chances. But we learned lessons and my team is motivated. We can rise above this.
“Our mission is to maintain our second position as per last season and we know that on a good day, we can also beat our top side, Eagles A.”
Like last season, five clubs are vying for superiority in the national league. After day one, Eagles A leads with two points.
Save for Eagles B sitting at the bottom of the table with no point, the others: Vision Chess Club (VCC), Knight Chess Club, KIST Chess Club, and NUR Chess Club, have a point each. The third and fourth rounds will be played on February 12, next year.