Lukewarm start for Botswana chess in Malawi


The Botswana team that is participating in the 2015 African Zone 4.3 Chess Championships in Blantyre, Malawi is experiencing mixed fortunes, according to reports from the tournament.

Botswana is represented by Woman International Master Boikhutso Mudongo in the Ladies’ Section, Fide Master Thato Olebile and Clifford Masole in the Open Section.

The tournament started with Round 1 last Saturday and will conclude with Round 9 this coming Sunday. 

In the Women’s section, Mudongo won the first round against Tupokiwe Msukwa of Malawi and picked a draw against Sonia Rosalina of Angola in the second round.  Mudongo won the third round beating Rose Zeko of Zambia. FM Olebile won the first round by beating George Mwale of Malawi and went on to lose the second round to Domingos Catarino of Angola.

Olebile came back to claim the third round against Malawian, Charles Chinthere.

The other Botswana player, Clifford Masole suffered two losses against Angolans Catarino and Albert Manuel.  Later, Masole managed to pick a win against Richard Chiona of Malawi.

Meanwhile, Naledi Marape has attained World Chess Federation (FIDE) rating.

Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) spokesperson, Keenese Katisenge told Mmegi Sport that Marape is the first and only eight year old girl from Botswana to attain a FIDE rating with the World Chess Federation.  She explained that as per the ratings released early this month, Marape has attained a FIDE rating of 1,245.  She pointed out that the youngster’s level of maturity on the board earned her a slot in the 2014 Botswana Junior Chess team.

Marape has also been short-listed for the 2015 Botswana Provisional Junior Chess team, which will be announced in due course.

Katisenge explained that a player’s FIDE rating is a measure of their strength. Marape qualified and represented Botswana at the 2014 World youth chess championships in South Africa in September 2014-where she was the best performer in the Botswana team.

“Marape is the 2015 Botswana National Youth Chess Championship Under-8 girls champion.

She was also the Under-8 girls’ champion during the Botswana Junior Closed competition,” said Katisenge.

According to the March 2015 FIDE statistics, Marape is ranked 89th as per all active players’ national rankings and 10th as per all active female players in national rankings.

She is further ranked 255th active female player in Africa.

Editor's Comment
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