- BCF aims to send 10 players to the biggest chess tournament that will take place in Moscow in July
- Players selected for Moscow will represent the nation at all international tourneys for the next 12 months
The Chess Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament in which teams representing nations from across the world compete.
Organised by the International Chess Federation (FIDE), the tournament comprises open and women’s tournaments as well as several events designed to promote the game of chess.
The event was originally scheduled to take place from 5 to 17 August 2020 but it was postponed because of growing concerns around the damnable COVID-19 pandemic. It will now take place from 26 July 2022 to 8 August 2022 in the Russian capital that is located in the western part of that country. “We held the first round of selections for the Chess Olympiad team earlier this month and selected nine players from each category (men and women),” Tingwane told The Business Weekly Sports in a telephone interview. “These selected players will be joined by the highest ranked for each category in the final game.
“It is our hope to hold the last stage of the selections between the 18th and the 20th of March where we will come up with a strong team that will represent the nation at the Chess Olympiad. Our aim is to then select five players per category for the Chess Olympiad. The selected players will also have the responsibility of representing the country at all international events in the 2022/23 chess calendar year.”
Tingwane added that BCF aims to organise a training camp for the team immediately the selections are completed to prepare early for the Chess Olympiad. “We have intensified our search for sponsors for that camp,” he said. “We do not want to rely solely on grants from the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) because we appreciate their financial difficulties, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic era. Soliciting sponsors is to aid us prepare a mighty team in order to make the nation proud. “
In the men’s category, players who will participate in the final stage of selections include Oratile Kgotlane, Goabaone Tangani, Bojosi Sabure, Moakofi Notha, Moemedi Machobane and Gomolemo Rongwane. For Candidate Masters there will be Tebogo Pitlagano, Mosenya Ndawana and Thuso Mosutha and International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse (highest ranked player).
The women’s section will have Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Refilwe Gabatshwarwe and Arona Moshoboro (highest ranked player); Women International Master (WIM) Kgalalelo Botlhole and Onkemetse Francis, Women Fide Master (WFM) Naledi Marape, Ruth Otisitswe, Londani Tamuhla, Thapelo Francis and Natalie Katlo Banda; and Woman Grand Master Tuduetso Sabure.