Gaborone — The 2020 Metropolitan National Chess Championships commenced with the first qualifying stage on February 15 and 16, at Legae Academy in Gaborone.
The tournament attracted over 412 participants from all corners of the country, who will be later scaled down to two champions to automatically qualify for the national team.
The first qualifying stage, which will be contested over eight rounds, is open to all chess players in Botswana.
The top two players from the open section will advance to the second qualifying stage at the end of the competition, which will be held next month.
The top 17 players from the ladies section will also progress to the second qualifying stage.
Players to look out for in the ladies section are Women International Masters (WIM) Kgalalelo Botlhole and Onkemetse Francis, who won the championships in previous years.
For open section FIDE Masters (FM) Phemelo Khetho, Candidate Masters (CM) Barileng Gaealafashwe are players to watch.
After the second qualifying stage, the top 10 players from the open and ladies sections will advance to the finals, which will be held over the Easter Holidays.
Metropolitan Botswana has committed to sponsor the championships with P120 000.
Source : BOPA