Mater Spei chess challenge attracts 500


The annual Mater Spei Chess challenge is expected to attract more than 500 participants from different schools across the country.

The tournament, which starts tomorrow and ends on Sunday, will be held at Mater Spei College in Francistown.

The Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) spokesperson, Keenese Katisenge said the competition, which has been running for the past three years, has received a cash injection of P50,000 from the Mater Spei College Parents Teachers Association (PTA).

Katisenge said the competition brings together chess players from pre-primary, primary, junior and senior secondary. She said that last year, 1 392 players registered for the tournament.

“The morale of the players and coaches is high and preparations for the event are at an advanced stage. We are just waiting for the tournament to start tomorrow,” she said. Katisenge also said the event promises to be one of the toughest with schools such as Letlhakane and Maun Senior Secondary Schools ready to compete each other. She said other schools like Kagiso Secondary School and Mater Spei have vowed to give 2014 Senior Schools chess tournament champions, Francistown Secondary School a run for their money.

Katisenge said each game would be played under a three-hour time control in all sections. She added that the time trial is meant to train young players to analyse deeper and adopt the international standard of the African Youth and World Youth Chess Championships, where Botswana competes.

Meanwhile, BCF hosted Gaborone International Chess Open last weekend at Oasis Motel. The event attracted 154 players from Botswana, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The players competed in Prestige, Women and Open Sections. 

FIDE Master (FM), Thato Olebile proved his mettle by winning the Prestige Section, while the second position went to Candidate Master Barileng Gaealafshwe with six points.

Candidate Master Thabo Gumpo came third with 5.5 points.

Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Tuduetso Sabure scooped the Women Section title with 5.5 points, followed by Woman International Master Tshepiso Lonang and Gorata Leso with the same points, but separated by tiebreaks.  The Open Section title went to Boenyane Moagi with 6.5 points, followed by Tlhokojane Bagomotsi and Silent Tjituka both with six points.

They were also separated by tiebreaks.

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