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Online Chess Olympiad Team Face Challenges

KOKETSO KGOBOGE
Providence Oatlhotse
PALAPYE: Team Botswana’s preparations for the maiden FIDE online chess Olympiad face financial challenges ahead of the scheduled start early next month.

Team Botswana, led by International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse, Gomolemo Rogwane in the open section, and Women International Master (WIM) Onkemetse Francis in the women section will start the tournament in Division 3.

The team will be based in Gaborone for the tournament except for Oatlhotse who will play from South Africa where he is currently based. BCF president, Mothokomedi Tlhabano has revealed that the team was experiencing problems with preparations.

He said the team needed at least six laptops worth a total of P45, 000. The setup for the home venue also needs surveillance cameras, and high quality sound that would be costly. He also said the team’s practice matches have also experienced some glitches with Internet connections. Preparations need P5, 000 worth of Internet. Team Botswana faced Lesotho recently and their Namibia challenge hit a snag due to an Internet problem.

“That is our biggest problem at the moment. African countries are struggling with

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high speed Internet. We did well against Lesotho, but the Internet let us and opponents down at some moments. We faced struggles with playing Namibia,” he said.

“We also need money for the logistics. The team has to camp in Gaborone save for Oatlhotse who is in South Africa. We should ensure the venue meets the standards set for the games. We have faith that everything would fall into place,” the chess president added. Nashua has sponsored the Team with high speed Internet for the duration of the competition. The pairings are not yet out, but in Division 3, Botswana is pitted against Albania, Barbados, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Belgium, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Guatemala. The team also features FIDE Master, Thato Olebile, Keletshabile Monnatsheko, Women Grandmaster Tuduetso Sabure, WIM Boikhutso Mudongo, Women FIDE Masters Besa Masaiti, Naledi Marape, and Othata Selogelo who will reserve the first team.



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