The distaff section of Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) carries the future of the game for Botswana and so women should know this, nurture it and guard it jealously.
This is a strongly-held view of the Secretary of BCF, Mokwaledi Tingwane, that he expressed in an interview with The Business Weekly Sports this past week against the background of the Chess Olympiad which took place from 26 July to 8 August in Moscow, Russia. The competition saw the country’s male team finishing in Position 3 in their category in a tournament where only gold medalists are recognised. The women’s team finished in Position 101 after being seeded Number 88. “We didn’t expect miracles or anything above performance because our teams were among the most inexperienced at the Olympiad,” Tingwane said the teams’ performance.
“The performance is generally fine because some of our players, Gomolemo Rongwane, Bojosi Sabure and Ruth Otisitswe, managed to get titles, something which they covet highly. I must note that having more of them getting titles would have been better.” Tingwane emphasised that the Botswana’s future in chess lies with women. “The future of our national team is on the women’s side,” he said. “We have to guard, protect and continue to nurture them to greater heights.
“They are all teenagers except for one. The same applies to the men’s team. Efforts should be made to find the next Providence Oatlhotse, Phemelo Khetho and Barileng Gaealafshwe to bolster the team.” He blamed Botswana’s poor showing at the Chess Olympiad on lack of a resident coach to drill the national team continuously. “Hopefully the committee in charge will address this anomaly with the Botswana National Sport Commision without delay.”