Slow reaction to Oatlhotse’s P200,000 plea

Providence Oatlhotse.PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Providence Oatlhotse.PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE

There has been a slow reaction to International Master, Providence Oatlhotse’s plea for more than P200,000 to enable him to travel to Las Vegas, USA for the Millionaire Chess tournament.

Oatlhotse told Mmegi Sport this week that the Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) is tasked with raising funds for the trip. The funds are needed to purchase training materials such as chess software, magazines, digital clock and digital board. The sponsors will meet travel expenses but if Oatlhotse fails to raise enough funds, it will adversely affect his preparations.

BCF spokesperson, Keenese Katisenge said only two organisations have agreed to assist the player. She was, however, not in a position to discuss figures and names of the two organisations, as negotiations are ongoing. Katisenge said she could only talk about the figures after an agreement has been reached next week.

“I cannot discuss the amount at the moment because we have not concluded our discussions. Issues of money are sensitive and must be dealt with cautiously. It is not that I don’t want to update you on progress we have made regarding Oatlhotse,” Katisenge said.

Oatlhotse pleaded for assistance soon after booking himself a place in the prestigious Millionaire chess tournament slated for Las Vegas in October.

The winner of the tournament walks away US$1 million (approximately P10million) richer.

The player qualified for the tournament after winning Tsogo Millionaire chess tournament in Johannesburg last month.

Oatlhotse won the tournament after beating International Master Johannes Phela Mabusela of South Africa in a five minutes Blitz in the play-offs. International Master Mwali Chitumbo of Zambia came third.

Oatlhotse is the highest rated player and arguably the best player in the history of the country’s board game.

Oatlhotse became the national chess champion in 2004 and he has retained the title in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2015.

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