Buoyant Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) has set its sights beyond Gaborone, Selebi-Phikwe and Francistown in terms of talent identification as well as spreading its wings across the country.
BCF has introduced an ambitious Maun Open International Chess tournament in a bid to shrug off the low key tag and promote the game of chess in every corner of the diamond rich but lowly populated nation.
This weekend, all roads will be leading to Maun for the first edition of the Maun International Chess tournament. The tournament will be held at Maduo Lodge, situated at Sedie ward in Maun.
Keenese Neoyame Katisenge, BCF Public Relations Director said the historic tournament will be categorized into two sections being open and ladies.
Katisenge said the development has been motivated by the recent growth in rating attained by BCF in the last four years.
According to the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) Development Commission, BCF has had a 400% growth in rated tournaments that are recognized by the world governing body, in the last four years as per the 2012 development statistics released by the chess mother body.
“The federation appreciates that the growth calls for it to spread FIDE rated chess events to other areas of the country,” said Katisenge in a statement.
The country has been running only two rated International Open chess tournaments.
Botswana International Open tournament held every September is one of the two tournaments alongside Gaborone Open held in June every year.
In the 2013 calendar of events, the federation has included four international open rated tournaments in Gaborone and new ones in Maun and Francistown.
The inclusion is aimed at giving chess players as much practice as possible.
“Practice makes perfect. And rubbing shoulders with regionally as well as internationally recognized chess players on regular basis would help local athletes to improve their skills,” said Katisenge.
Over and above that, Maun has rich history since it was the first town in Botswana and in Sub-Saharan Africa to produce world class chess players, she said. Woman Grand Master (WGM) Tuduetso Sabure is one of the gems unearthed in Maun.
The rich tourism township of Maun also produced very valuable Botswana national chess team players namely Candidate Master (CM) Tebogo Pitlagano and Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Ontiretse Sabure.
Maun also prides itself with producing Under-14 national team player, Kingsley Mokwena, who represented the country at Africa Youth Chess Championships in South Africa last September.