Chess duo awarded WIMs titles in Norway


Two Botswana chess players, Kgalalelo Botlhole and Onkemetse Francis have been awarded titles by the World Chess Federation (WCF) in recognition of their outstanding efforts.


Both were awarded Woman International Master (WIM) titles over the weekend. Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) spokesperson, Keenese Katisenge told Mmegi Sport from Tromso, Norway that Botlhole’s award follows further release of the 2014 Zone 4.3 chess championships titles.  She explained that the player finished second, tied with Francis behind WIM Denise Frick of South Africa. The duo garnered a score of 67. Katisenge explained that since the champion of the tournament had a WIM title, FIDE awarded the title to the runners-up who had the same score line. “Botlhole is currently playing well on board four of the Botswana Women Olympiad team, with a performance score of 83 percent after round seven,” Katisenge said. She said Botlhole, at a rating of 1, 918 is above her standard rating point of 1, 762.  The World Chess Olympiad is currently taking place in Norway and has attracted the best chess players from 174 countries. Katisenge said Francis, playing on board three at the Olympiad, has been elevated from a Woman FIDE Master to WIM status.  Botswana now has four WIMs, the other two bring Boikhutso Modongo and Tshepiso Lopang. Katisenge noted that the number of titled players in Botswana would have a positive impact on the quality of international players the country will attract.  She pointed out that local players stand good chances of receiving increased invitations to international events. “This achievement by the Federation is a continuous fulfillment of the current Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) Vision 2028 that is aligned to the BCF strategy.

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