The Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) has expressed gratitude on the growth of online chess.
This follows travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic that left most players confined to their homes.
Botswana finished third in the just ended zone 4.5 online team chess championship in a tournament that included nine nations with Angola bagging the championship and South Africa emerging runners up.
The BCF mouthpiece Kutlwano Tatolo told The Telegraph in an interview that online chess has changed the scope of chess as it is more convenient to play without budgetary constraints.
“Online chess is more convenient as we don’t have much budget issues playing across countries. If it was not for the online platform, we would be sorting logistics such as travel and accommodation but for now we still play with other nations despite the pandemic challenges,” said Tatolo.
She revealed that they have also realized that there is a lot of talent with upcoming youngsters proving their mettle in the platform.
“Online chess is more about speed and short games and we have realized that our upcoming youngsters are coping well with online games and have improved our chess ratings,” she explained.
Tatolo said she believes had it not been for the unreliability of the local network, the local players could have done much better.
“We have a lot of potential with regards to online games,” she said. “The only predicament at the moment is our network connectivity which we believe needs to be improved for our players to do better. We are of the view that had it not been connectivity we could have gunned down a better position,’’ revealed Tatolo.
Despite technical difficulties in the opening matches of the championship that witnessed Botswana donating points, the team forced a podium position thanks to some sterling performances from the likes of International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse and David Mooketsi.
Under the tutelage of gaffer Ivan Makabe, the likes of Kgalalelo Botlhole, Naledi Marape and Refilwe Gabatshware rose to the occasion with exceptional performances.