Division one and two have been merged into a single pool
National Chess League (Hotel Africana)
Champions Kireka and rivals Dmark chess club will start the 2017 National Chess League as title contenders for the season that starts on Sunday morning at Hotel Africana.
Kireka & Dmark finished in the first and second position respectively in the 2016 league.
The duo will also start the season as the strongest teams given their team rosters.
Kireka will depend on the forces of Shakira Ampaire and FIDE Masters (FMs) Harold Wanyama and Haruna Nsubuga while former champions Dmark will look up to International Master (IM) Arthur Ssegwanyi, FM Patrick Kawuma, and Woman Candidate Master (WFM) Christine Namaganda.
Meanwhile, participating teams may want to consider bracing themselves for a tight contest if they are to make it to the finalists' bracket this season.
This follows a decision by Uganda Chess Federation (UCF) to spice up the league by merging division one and two into a single pool.
The new development also means that there will be no team being relegated at the end of the seven week contest.
"The changes in the league have definitely got us thinking. We need to double our efforts if we are to yield positive results this season," said Kireka captain Ivan Kaddu.
According to UCF general secretary, Henry Ategeka, they decided to make the league much more competitive than before to create fair competition among teams.
"We realized that there are teams in the lower division that can compete fairly with those in the top flight. So to make the competition fair, we saw it fit to combine the leagues," said Ategeka.
Other teams expected include, Mengo Chess Club, Bunamwaya, Enkabi, Mulago Rooks, Mulago Knights, Chess Life Academy, Crystals, Bank of Uganda, Boons, and Comrades Chess Club.