Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) will this weekend host a chess tournament at Bokamoso Junior Secondary School in Gaborone to prepare for the 2016 African Schools Individual Chess Championships to be held in Lusaka, Zambia next month.
The event is sponsored by Dr Marape Marape and family and will be used to prepare the Botswana Youth Team for the championships. All players under the age of 17 but above seven are eligible to take part in the tournament to give the team practice.
The team that will represent the country in Zambia include Candidate Master (CM) Iphazha Masala, Woman International Master (WCM) Naledi Marape and Besa Masaiti among others.
Keenese Katisenge, the Federation’s mouthpiece said this week that so far the team has 16 official and additional players that will be sent to participate in the championships. However, she pointed out that application to include any child as an additional player was still open until end of this month. “We will only consider players who have been performing consistently well in 2015 and 2016,” she added.
Katisenge said looking at the current performance of the players, the aim is to retain the medals achieved in last year’s event and possibly increase the numbers.She said the youth team has been able to bring medals home from all the games they went to since 2014, adding that their play is consistent throughout regional and continental events.
Team Botswana won gold medals for Botswana through the brains of Naledi Marape and Abhiram Sasitharan in the 2015 Championships. Iphazha Masala and Amaresh Kathiresan scooped bronze whereas Koziba Kemoiile walked away with a silver award.