The winner of the first Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) event of the year, FIDE Master, Thato Olebile has expressed his intention to grab the national title over the Easter holidays.
The first qualifiers for the Metropolitan sponsored national chess championships will be held this weekend in Gaborone.
BCF will select the top 23 players in the open section and top 17 in the women section for the second stage. After winning the Airfficiency Year Opener tournament over the weekend at Legae Academy, Olebile now fancies his chances for the national title. He emerged victorious after a draw against the 2014 winner, Musatwe Simutowe of Zambia.
Olebile, Candidate Master (CM) Thabo Gumpo and International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse were tied with six points out of seven at the end of the tournament. Gumpo finished the competition in second spot followed by Oatlhotse.
Olebile told Mmegi Sport yesterday that his win is a motivation ahead of the national championships. He said his intention is to qualify for the Africa Individual Championships and the Zone 4:3 championship to be held later this year.
Meanwhile, the Airfficiency women section title went to Candidate Master (CM) Modi Sonia of South Africa. Sonia finished the tournament tied on 5.5 points out of seven with Woman Grand Master, Tuduetso Sabure and Women International Master, Tshepiso Lopang. The three players were separated by tie-breaks, which gave Sonia an upper hand, placing her in the first position ahead of Sabure in second and Lopang.
Naledi Marape won the youth section in primary schools while Gideon Masati was crowned the best boy player. Besa Masaiti won the girls section for junior secondary schools title while Keatlaretse Keorapetse won the boys’ title. Abhiram Sasithram walked away as the best performer in the senior schools category.
BCF public relations officer, Keenese Katisenge said the Airfficiency Year Opener was rated by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) in order to afford participants an opportunity to gain FIDE ratings.