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Chess team breaks record

A youthful Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) team that competed at this year’s African Schools Individual Chess Championship has re-wrote history books recording eight titles and nine medals in an international event by a BCF team since 1982.


Botswana got the first position after notching four gold medals, one silver and four bronze medals, defeating the host Zambia who settled for the second position after garnering seven medals. The eight titles by Botswana are still awaiting approval by the world Chess Federation at the 2017 congress.
A gold medallist, Atang Mosweu, is awaiting confirmation for her Women Candidate Master title in the girls Under 9 group. Lone Moshoboro is also waiting the official crediting on the same title in the Under 7 girls section.

 

Besa Masaiti has been declared a women FIDE Master in the girls Under 15 category, while Londani Tamulha got the same title in the girls under 17 section. Tshepo Monare who is the only silver medallist has been classified as a Candidate Master title in the boys Under 15 category. Refilwe Garebatshwane who got bronze medal has been titled a Woman Candidate Master in the girls Under 11 group. In the Under 17 boys category, Elias Thabo automatically gained a Candidate Master title.

 

Another promising male player Marape Marape Jr has earned a Candidate Master title in the Under 13 boys section. Marape Marape who has long been declared a Woman Candidate Master won a bronze medal. All the gold medallists have automatically qualified for next year’s World’s Schools Individual Chess Championship. Botswana sent a total of 19 players to the tournament.


This year’s achievement has been hailed as a step in the right direction as this country in the first edition of this event last year hosted in the home soil, could only manage five medals. African School Chess Championship is a developmental continental youth tournament which was introduced last year for players under the age of 17 (under-7, 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17). The tournament is categorized in girls, boys and open section. The event is an initiative of the world chess federation and African chess Federation aimed at aiding African National Federation’s grassroots development efforts through high profile tournament, play, coaching and exposure.


Still at the same games, International Arbiter and organizer Vincent Masole was appointed a sector arbiter.  Masole is also one of the leading arbiters in Botswana who has officiated at big local events like Botswana International Open Chess Championships, BOTASH International Open Chess Championships, Maun International Open Chess Championships and Gaborone International Open Chess Championships. He has also officiated at the Mauritius International Open Chess Championships.

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