Gaborone — Botswana Tertiary Students Sports Association (BOTESSA) hosted its first ever online chess tournament on Saturday.
The tournament was played over 11 rounds in both the open and the ladies sections and was sponsored by First National Bank Botswana (FNBB).
In the open section, Tshwaragano Basimanebotlhe from Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) emerged victorious with nine points. He was followed by Gofaone Kobe from University of Botswana (UB) with 8.5 points, while Sepotlo Oarabile from BAC got position three with eight points.
Tsotlhe Madingwane from Botho University got position one with 10.5 points in the ladies' section. Second was Thapelo Francis from BIUST with 10 points followed by Senate Lekomola from UB with nine points.
Winners from both categories walked away with P750 vouchers while those in second position got P650 vouchers and position three winners got P450 vouchers each.
Madingwane noted that it was the first tournament she had ever won, revealing that she took part in a number of tournaments and only ended up in the top 20.
She advised other players not to give up when they lose, but to use their past experience to improve their game.
Madingwane said the tournament was tough because there were a number of players who were ranked above her.
"You get scared in such situations and you might end up losing focus," she said.
She highlighted that she played against men as part of her strategy to improve her game.
She said she preferred training online and watching videos of professional players.
She noted that from the beginning of the year she trained with Candidate Master Thuso Mosutlha.
She thanked all those who assisted her, including her mother whom she said had been her pillar of strength.
In an interview after the tournament, BOTESSA vice president, Tebogo Kgari said 12 institutions, who were their affiliates, managed to avail students to partake in the tournament.
He said the tournament was a success and that there were 108 players from 15 institutions around the country.
He said they hoped to award prizes from position one to 10 in the future.
He noted that although BOTESSA was made up of 33 institutions, only 15 managed to participate.
"This is something that we have to look into to find ways to assist students from other institutions to partake in online tournaments," he said.
Kgari also noted that most of the institutions that took part in the tournament were universities, saying maybe it was because they had more resources compared to other institutions.
He urged institutions to provide students with WiFi services so that they could participate in online tournaments.
He said BOTESSA would take part in international tournaments such as the Confederation of Universities and College Sport Association (CUCSA), and that all institutions needed to partake in the games in order to have a pool of players to select from when participating in such games.
The other challenge, he said, was that students had to play from their respective homes or institutions due to COVID-19 protocols. He said it was important for players to convene in one area for tournaments in order to avoid issues such as cheating.
"Those in Gaborone could play from one place, Jwaneng from one central place and all other different regions," he said.
Tournament coordinator, Vincent Masole said the tournament was a success as many players were playing online for the first time.
He cited poor Internet connectivity as the biggest challenge.
Masole said some players could not play because of either poor Internet connectivity or connection related matters.
Source : BOPA