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Chess national team selection on

29 Feb 2024

The Botswana Open University (BOU), Fairgrounds campus will host a four-day intense tournament to select the Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) national team.

The selection, which started on Thursday, will conclude on Sunday.   The team will represent the country at this year’s 45th Chess Olympiad games in Budapest, Hungary.

BCF public relations director, Goitsemodimo Makgatle said the players, who had made it to the final selection of the national team, went through a rigorous selection process.

Makgatle said the journey to the final lap started with the first qualifier stage, which was followed by the second qualifier stage.

She said 20 male players and eight female players managed to go through to the second round qualifier stage.

However, Makgatle said the second round of qualifiers was organised for male players only, therefore the 20 that went past the first round were to be reduced to eight that would go to the final lap.

On the other side, Makgatle said the eight women that managed to go past the first round automatically qualified for the final stage, therefore were not subjected to go through the second round qualifying stage.

She said from the four-day final selection, the top three male and female players respectively would make it to the national team.

On the women’s side, Makgatle said the final selection would  feature Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Refilwe Gabatshwarwe, WCM Amolemo Mosweu, Otimile Maya, Lorato Thapelo, WCM Arona Moshoboro, Boitumelo Radikoro, Lame Mhate and WCM Phoebe Moshoboro.

Makgatle said the eight women were to be joined by two elite chess players in WFM Besa Masaiti and WFM Naledi Marape, who were currently on scholarships studying abroad.

However, Makgatle said Masaiti would not make it to the tournament due to school commitments.

On the men side, Fide Master (FM) Gomolemo Rongwane, Keletshabile Monnaatsheko, Thuto Mpene, Oratile Kgotlane, Candidate Master (CM) Barileng Gaealafshwe, Kuda Bayani, Moakofi Notha and Bokamoso Simon will fight for the three national team spots.

Even though the final selection tournament will only qualify three women and three men to the national team, Makgatle said the final national team would be made up of 10 players, being five women and five men respectively.

She said two of the remaining four spots in the team would automatically be filled by WCM Natalie Banda, who was the current women national champion while on the men team by the highest rated player in the country, International Master(IM) Providence Oatlhotse.

Makgatle said the final two slots on both the women and men national teams would be filled by the winners of the coming Metropolitan Chess Championships.

She said the three-legged Metropolitan Chess Championships would be on March 17. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Moshe Galeragwe

Location : GABORONE


Date : 29 Feb 2024