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Chess Olympiad beckons for six local players

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Chess Olympiad beckons for six local players
May 23
11:43 2018

Baitshepi Sekgweng

Six local chess players Kgomotso Ndachipiwa, Besa Masaiti, Boitumelo Radikoro and Moakofi Notha (ladies section), CM Barileng Gaealafshwe and Ndawana Mosenya (men secion) have qualified for the Chess Olympiad that is slated for Batumi, Georgia in September.

This follows a two day competitive national team selections which were held in Gaborone, Elements Hotel over the weekend. The six players join IM Providence Oatlhotse, FM Phemelo Khetho and WIMs Kgalalelo Botlhole and Onkemetse Francis who qualified for the tournament las month.

The selections brought together 8 participants with top three players from each section expected to qualify for the Chess Olympiad. Following 7 rounds of play Notha managed to top the open section emerging the overall winner ahead of favourite CM Gaealafshwe. Notha alongside Gaealafshwe and Mosenya all accumulated 4.5 points from the seven rounds but however where separated by the annotation of win on direct encounter. Favourite Thabo Mosutha was one of the causalities at the selections finishing on position 7 with only 1 point.

In the ladies section the star of the weekend was Ndachipiwa amassing a total of 4, 5 points with Masaiti and Radikoro hot on her heels with 4 points each. Youngsters Naledi Marape and Ruth Otisitswe who have been doing impressively well this year had a tournament to forget with the two finishing on position four and six with 3 and 2 points respectively.

Global Sport caught up with Ndachipiwa who expressed much happiness for her qualification to her maiden Chess Olympiad. “I’m very happy that finally I managed to secure a spot in the national team for the biggest chess tournament in the world. All in all the selections were very competitive, I couldn’t win all my games but I managed to triumph at the end of the day. I’m really impressed with everyone’s performance because all the players who were here were very strong. So I’m looking for to the tournament itself,” said Ndachipiwa.

Ndachipiwa have been doing pretty well this year having managed to win silver at the Africa Amateur Chess Championships in Zambia and finishing on 9th position at the World Amateur Chess Championships in Italy last month.

For his part Botswana Chess Federation Secretary General Mokwaledi Tingwane also expressed happiness at the way the selections went. “We are very happy because in the ladies section  an under 16 girl Besa Masaiti  made a breakthrough, it’s always hard for  the youngsters  to break into the national team but this time around one  such player managed and this shows  growth in the sport,” he said.

 

“It also impressive for players like Radikoro and Ndachipiwa to be doing well, they never miss any tournament and sometimes self-sponsors themselves to tournaments outside the country. For them is show shows that finally hard work pays because they are now able to topple established players,” said Tingwane,

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