Gaborone — Zambian players dominated the Botswana Open Chess Championships which was held over the independence holidays.
The nine rounds competition, which was held at Botswana College of Engineering and Technology, was sponsored by Debswana with P150 000.
The Zambians swept the stakes in the prestige section, taking home all three medals through international master, Daniel Jere, Simutowe Musatwe and Mwali Chitumbo.
Jere was crowned champion of the section on Monday after garnering six points over three gruelling days, winning P12 000. He was followed by Musatwe who claimed a silver medal with 5.5 points. Musatwe took home P8 500 while another Zambian international master, Mwali, pocketed P5 667 after grabbing a bronze medal.
Botswana's highest placed player in the section was fide master, Thato Olebile who finished in fourth place with five points while international master, Providence Oatlhotse came sixth.
It was a similar scenario in the ladies section where two Zambian players grabbed gold and silver medals. Woman fide master, Lorita Mwango clinched the title with 6.5 points while woman international master, Epah Jere was runner-up with six points. However, the host country managed a bronze medal in the category through woman international master, Boikhutso Modongo who finished the competition with five points. Cash prize for the champion in this category was P8 000, second prize was P5 500 while third prize was P3 750.
In the open section, the trophy went to a Zimbabwean player, Michael Munyaradzi who garnered 6.5 points. Thekiso Yaone and Oratile Kgotlane settled for silver and bronze medals respectively. The winner in this section pocketed P3 500, while the runner up got P2 500.
Youth category winners were as follows: Iphazha Masala (boys under 10), Tefo Pitlagano (boys under 12), Botlhe Lekang (boys under 14), Desire Machinya (boys under 16), Theo Mhate junior (boys under 18), Atang Mosweu (girls under 10), Kaone Matlhako (girls under 12), Gofa Tahla (girls under 14), Thandi Bonno (girls under 16) and Laone Moshoboro (girls under 18).
Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) vice president technical Kelapile Kelatlhilwe said the tournament was successful with more than 200 players from Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda participating.