Botswana: Chess Olympiad Starts

Gaborone — Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) national team will face Nigeria in the first World Online Chess Olympiad 2020 on today.

In an interview on August 5, national team coach, Ivon Makabe pointed out that due to COVID -19 lockdown, team members would be playing from different areas.

He said those in greater Gaborone would play from Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) warm-up arena, where laptops and internet connectivity had been set up.

He indicated that International Master, Providence Oatlhotse would play from South Africa, Woman Grand Master Tuduetso Sabure from Maun, Fide Master Thato Olebile and Candidate Master Thabo Elias would be playing from Francistown, with Othato Selogelo participating from Jwaneng.

He said the team comprised six players including two females, two males and two juniors from both categories.

"The reserve side is also made up of six players," he added.

Makaba said national teams were categorised based on rankings; the lowest being base division, followed by division four, division three, division two and top division, which was ranked higher than all the other divisions, adding that currently, Botswana national team was in division three.

He indicated that the top three teams from division three would qualify for division two.

The coach was optimistic that the national team would qualify for the next round, noting that his team had been training during the lockdown period and taking part in different online tournaments.

The only challenge, he said, was due to the fact that some teams released names of players late, which then made it hard for coaches to effectively pair their players against opponents.

"In a face to face game, I easily consider each opponent's strength and know which player to place against them," he added.

Makaba revealed that FIDE wished every player could play from their own place, but due to lack of resources including slow internet connectivity, BCF requested to participate from one central place, also because the sponsor could not set up for each and every member at their own spaces.

The World Online Chess Olympiad 2020, which began on July 24, will end on August 30.

Source : BOPA

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