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Chess star sends out sponsorship SOS

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Woman FIDE Master Naledi Marape
Woman FIDE Master Naledi Marape has the potential of shining brighter but sponsorship is an obstacle on the way of the chess star.

A fortnight ago, Marape was the only female at a tournament played in South Africa. She was also the first girl in the history of the Africa Schools Championship to participate in the boys/Open section.

She won a bronze medal, which meant she qualified for a non-women World Chess Federation (FIDE) title of Candidate Master (CM), a first for Botswana.

“I could say I had a good season because I participated in multiple events, locally and internationally,” she said.

“It was not just competing, but my impact was felt. I had access to different coaches mainly from the little resources from my parents.”

Marape said her intention is to go a step further and target International Master and Grandmaster titles, and start dominating beyond the continent.

She said that dream is not going to be easy because it requires resources.

“This would need a higher level coach, at Grandmaster (GM) level, as well as participation in events beyond Africa. These are all expensive undertakings, beyond my parents’ budgets. Hence I am pleading with corporate

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sponsors to come on board.”

Marape said her focus next year would be to achieve the Woman International Master and FIDE Master titles. She intends to increase her international rating to around 1900-2000.

“To do this I would need to get a Grandmaster coach and participate in international FIDE rated tournaments in Europe and Asia. I also wish to attend a short coaching clinic in Europe,” she said.

Marape said during the festive season, she would be competing in the Africa Junior Championship in Entebbe, Uganda. The competition runs from December 28, 2018 until January 6, 2019.  She said the trip is made possible by her parents.

The chess sensation said she remains hopeful that sponsors would assist her to achieve her ambitions.

“One day I would like to register a foundation that would assist young boys and girls to achieve some of their sporting ambitions. I have already started to coach some who are passionate about chess. On the academic side, I would like to become a neurosurgeon,” she said.



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