Women International Master (WIM) Boikhutso Mudongo is off to a slow start at the ongoing Zone 4.3 Chess Championships held in Mozambique Maputo.
The championships begun this past weekend and so far Mudongo has earned herself only one point from the first three rounds played.
“The level of competition is high, I believe I will bounce back, I might have not prepared well for the event,” Mudongo briefly said when reached for comment. Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) spokesperson, Kutlwano Tatolo told BG Sport this week that Mudongo is not having a good tournament at all. Kutlwano said that Mudongo is actually not having a good year altogether.
The senior player missed out on the Airfficiency year opener tournament and has not been active in the league either. Her latest setback was when she failed to defend her Metropolitan National Championship title a fortnight ago.
“I think she took a long break, she is a bit rusty and we are hoping she picks up pace in the remaining games,” Tatolo said.
Nevertheless, Tatolo expressed confidence in the player saying she has been in the game long enough and knows when to pick herself up, in her remaining rounds. “There are still six more rounds to be played.” Mudongo is competing in the lady’s section together with WIM Onkemetse Francis and Woman Fide Master (WFM) Naledi Marape. Marape is making her debut at the zonal championship.
Francis has accumulated 2.5 points from her three rounds while Marape has 1.5 points. Joining the ladies is International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse and Fide Master Phemelo Kheto playing in the open section. Oatlhotse and Kheto are also facing stiff competition having recorded one and two points respectively from their five played rounds.
Team Botswana failed to secure a medal or improve rankings last year in Zambia and hoping for better results this year. The tournament is expected to prepare the team for the Chess Olympiad scheduled for September 2018.